Corinne Low is an Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School, specializing in labor and development economics. Her research brings together applied microeconomic theory with lab and field experiments to understand the determinants of who gets how much across gender and age lines. Current ongoing projects focus on a new technology to examine hiring discrimination, the tradeoff women make between career and family in the US, and the impact of teaching girls negotiation skills in Zambia.
Corinne received her PhD in economics from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree in economics and public policy from Duke University, after which she worked as a consultant for McKinsey and Co. At Wharton, Corinne teaches Managerial Economics in the MBA program.
Naomi Gershoni and Corinne Low (2020), Older Yet Fairer: How Extended Reproductive Time Horizons Reshaped Marriage Patterns in Israel, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
Abstract: Israel’s 1994 adoption of free in vitro fertilization provides a natural experiment for how fertility time horizons impact women’s marriage timing and other outcomes. We find a sub- stantial increase in average age at first marriage following the policy change, using both men and Arab-Israeli women as comparison groups. This shift appears to be driven by both in- creased marriages by older women and younger women delaying marriage. Age at first birth also increased. Placebo and robustness checks help pinpoint IVF as the source of the change. Our findings suggest age-limited fertility materially impacts women’s life timing and outcomes relative to men.
Nava Ashraf, Natalie Bau, Corinne Low, Kathleen McGinn (2020), Negotiating a Better Future: How Interpersonal Skills Facilitate Intergenerational Investment, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 135 (2).
Abstract: Using a randomized controlled trial, we study whether a negotiation skills training can improve girls’ educational outcomes in a low-resource environment. We find that a negotiation training given to 8th grade Zambian girls significantly improved edu- cational outcomes over the next three years, and these effects did not fade out. To better understand mechanisms, we estimate the effects of two alternative treatments. Negotiation had much stronger effects than an informational treatment, which had no effect. A treatment designed to have more traditional girls’ empowerment effects had directionally positive but insignificant educational effects. Relative to this treatment, negotiation increased enrollment in higher quality schooling and had larger effects for high ability girls. These findings are consistent with a model where negotiation allows girls to resolve incomplete contracting issues with their parents, yielding increased educational investment for those who experience sufficiently high returns. We provide evidence for this channel through a lab-in-the-field game and follow-up survey with girls and their guardians.
Corinne Low, Judd B. Kessler, Colin Sullivan (2019), Incentivized Resume Rating: Eliciting Employer Preferences without Deception, American Economic Review, 109 (11).
Abstract: We introduce a new experimental paradigm to evaluate employer preferences, called Incentivized Resume Rating (IRR). Employers evaluate resumes they know to be hypothetical in order to be matched with real job seekers, preserving incentives while avoiding the deception necessary in audit studies. We deploy IRR with employers recruiting college seniors from a prestigious school, randomizing human capital characteristics and demographics of hypothetical candidates. We measure both employer preferences for candidates and employer beliefs about the likelihood candidates will accept job offers, avoiding a typical confound in audit studies. We discuss the costs, benefits, and future applications of this new methodology.
Abstract: This paper studies how gender affects negotiation strategy and payoffs. Although conventional wisdom holds that women are “worse” negotiators, we find that men have a disadvantage in negotiation in a setting with explicit verbal communication relative to a control game without communication. This effect is driven by a treatment where partner gender information is public, to most closely mirror a real-world negotiation. The mechanism of the effect appears to be that men fail to tailor their negotiation strategy “optimally” to partner gender. Men are significantly less likely to use tough (and effective) negotiation strategies against female partners than against male partners. We show that these choices reduce payoffs, and male-male pairs perform particularly poorly, demonstrating a “toxic masculinity” effect. As an explanation for these results, we suggest men may be “constrained” by gender norms in their communication strategy --- leading them to be more chivalrous to women and “tough” toward men --- at the expense of their own payoffs.
Jennie Huang and Corinne Low (2017), Trumping Norms: Lab Evidence on Aggressive Communication before and after the 2016 US Presidential Election, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 5. 10.1257/aer.p20171016
Corinne Low (Working), Pricing the Biological Clock: Reproductive Capital on the US Marriage Market.
Abstract: Women's ability to have children declines sharply with age. This fecundity loss may negatively affect marital prospects for women who delay marriage to make career investments. I incorporate depreciating "reproductive capital" into a frictionless matching model of the marriage market, where high-skilled women are likely to make pre-marital career investments. When the fertility costs of these investments are large relative to the income gains, the model predicts non-assortative matching at the top of the income distribution, with the highest-earning men forgoing the highest-earning women in favor of poorer, but younger, partners. However, if women's incomes rise or desired family size falls, high-skilled women may be able to compensate their partners for lower fertility, leading to assortative matching. Patterns in US Census data match these predictions. In the 1920-1950 birth cohorts, women with post-bachelors education match with lower-income spouses than women with only college degrees, while in recent years this trend has reversed. The model relies on men internalizing their partners' expected fertility when choosing a mate. I test this using an online experiment where age is randomly assigned to dating profiles, to control for other factors (such as beauty) that change with age in observational data. I find that men, in contrast to women, have a strong preference for younger partners, but only when they have no children of their own and are aware of the age-fertility tradeoff.
Tal Gross, Jeanne Lafortune, Corinne Low (2014), What Happens the Morning After? Access to Emergency Contraception and its Impact on Fertility and Abortion, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33.
MGEC 611 – Microeconomics for Managers
MGEC 612 – Microeconomics for Managers – Advanced
BEPP 900 – Applied Economics Research Seminar
Of the many ways that doctoral students typically learn how to do research, two that are important are watching others give seminar presentations (as in Applied Economics Seminars) and presenting one's own research. The BEPP 900 course provides a venue for the latter. Wharton doctoral students enrolled in this course present applied economics research. Presentations both of papers assigned for other classes and of research leading toward a dissertation are appropriate in BEPP 900. This course aims to help students further develop a hands-on understanding of the research process. All doctoral students with applied microeconomic interests are encouraged to attend and present. Second and third year Applied Economic Ph.D. students are required to enroll in BEPP 900 and receive one-semester credit per year of participation.
This course establishes the micro-economic foundations for understanding business decision-making. The course will cover consumer theory and market demand under full information, market equilibrium and government intervention, production theory and cost optimization, producing in perfectly competitive and monopoly markets, vertical relations, and game theory, including simultaneous, sequential, and infinitely repeated games. Finally, we will wrap up game theory with an application to auctions. Students are expected to have mastered these materials before enrolling in the second quarter course: Microeconomics for Managers: Advanced Applications.
This course will cover the economic foundations of business strategy and decision-making in market environments with other strategic actors and less than full information, as well as advanced pricing strategies. Topics include oligopoly models of market competition, creation, and protection, sophisticated pricing strategies for consumers with different valuations or consumers who buy multiple units (e.g. price discrimination, bundling, two-part tariffs), strategies for managing risk and making decisions under uncertainty, asymmetric information and its consequences for markets, and finally moral hazard and principle-agent theory with application to incentive contacts.
BEPP’s Corinne Low and Melissa E. Sanchez of the English department win 2020 Compassionate Community Award for their work creating Open Hearts Initiative
Two Penn professors, Melissa E. Sanchez (English, Comp Lit, GSWS) and Corinne Low (Wharton) have learned that an organization that they lead, the Upper West Side Open Hearts Initiative, won the 2020 NYC Coalition for the Homeless Compassionate Community Award. Low co-founded the Open Hearts Initiative to support the residents of three shelters that have been temporarily relocated to Upper West Side hotels to reduce crowding and stop the spread of Covid-19. Sanchez soon joined the leadership committee. Working with shelter residents and care providers and local neighbors, schools, businesses, and religious leaders, Open Hearts has provided unhoused New Yorkers with moral and material support. As part of this effort, Open Hearts has organized community art events to show shelter residents welcome and support; rallies, marches, and sleep-outs; voter registration drives; addiction and recovery counseling; and drives in which people can donate food, supplies, clothing, and Metrocards. Amidst NYC budget cuts on the one hand and wealthy residents’ opposition to neighborhood shelters on the other, Open Hearts has sought to engage shelter residents in representing their own needs and interests. Sanchez and Low agree that the most meaningful evaluation of Open Hearts’ impact comes from unhoused persons themselves: “Since coming to the Upper West Side community and experiencing a negative backlash from a small minority of community residents, it was refreshing for there to emerge a bigger group, under the banner of UWS Open Hearts Initiative, that showed me and my fellow residents what love is in every sense of the word,” said a Lucerne resident who goes by the moniker Da Homeless Hero. “As a person who is affected by generational trauma, I am grateful for the expression of love and support presented by the UWS Open Hearts Initiative and look forward to continuing to work with them to make our experience in this community a healthy and beneficial experience.”
More details about the award can be found at https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/compassionate-communities-award-2020/, and more details about the work of Open Hearts can be found at https://www.uwsopenhearts.org/. For a short video capturing a voter registration drive organized by Open Hearts (with a voiceover by Sanchez), see https://twitter.com/UWSOpenHearts/status/1308058403143639043.
Awarded for “What Happens the Morning After? The Costs and Benefits of Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception,” with Tal Gross and Jeanne Lafortune. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(1), 2014
During a recent panel discussion hosted by Wharton Dean Erika James, three Wharton faculty examined the pandemic’s reverberating effects on women in the workplace.Knowledge @ Wharton - 3/30/2021
When Corinne Low, assistant professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, began teaching negotiation skills to eighth-grade girls in Zambia, she used some of the same principles from leading MBA curricula….Wharton Stories - 08/26/2016