RESPONDENTS WERE ASKED TO RATE HOW WELL THEY CAN BARGAIN on a scale of 1 to 5. Most respondents gave themselves a 3 or 4. Although this is a highly subjective rating, we asked the question because we find it necessary to have some proxy for bargaining skills, since this can have a huge effect on your eventual compensation. Bargaining points correlated highly with salary, and the model predicts a salary boost of +$4,290 for each point on the scale.
A related question, similarly opinion-based, was the ease of finding new work. In some cases this may be obvious (for example, if the respondent has job offers on the table, or had recently been looking for work unsuccessfully), but in most cases it is probably just as rough a measure as bargaining skills. The average score, also on a five-point scale, was 3.8. Since this is not a variable that we can change (that is, in the same way that we can move to new states or countries, learn new tools, or shift careers to new roles), this variable was not included in the model.