Carnegie Mellon University

Linda Babcock

Linda Babcock

James M. Walton Professor
Ph.D. in Economics


Linda Babcock is the James M. Walton Professor of Economics. She is also the former Head of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, and former Acting Dean at Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. Babcock founded and is the faculty director of the Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society (PROGRESS) and a Co-Director of the Data-Driven Diversity Lab (D3). She is a member of the Russell Sage Foundation’s Behavioral Economics Roundtable and has served on the economics review panel for the National Science Foundation. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, the Harvard Business School, and the California Institute of Technology. Babcock’s teaching is primarily focused in the area of negotiations and dispute resolution. In 1991 and 2001 she received the Heinz School's award for teaching excellence.


Ph.D., Economics, University of Wisconsin at Madison


Babcock’s research is conducted at the interface between economics and psychology. Her focus is on the area of negotiations and dispute resolution. Her research has appeared in the most prestigious economics, industrial relations, psychology, and law journals, including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, and the Journal of Legal Studies. Her recent work focuses on gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations and on how people react to women when they do negotiate. In her recent book with Sara Laschever, Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, she describes her research on initiating negotiations and explores the societal factors that hold women back from asking for what they want. Her book has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Danish. Her research on women and negotiations has been discussed in hundreds of newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and abroad and she has appeared on numerous television and radio stations discussing her work. She has received numerous research grants from the National Science Foundation.


“I Just Can’t Say No Club: Why Women Get Saddled With Unrewarded Work—And How to Change That,” with Brenda Peyser, Lise Vesterlund, and Laurie Weingart, forthcoming 2020.

Ask For It: How Women Can Use The Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want,” with Sara Laschever, Bantam Books/Random House, February 2008.  Paperback issued January 2009.

Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide,” with Sara Laschever, Princeton University Press, October 2003, translated into Chinese, Danish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.   Paperback issued February 2007 by Bantam Books/Random House.


“Gender Gaps in Negotiation: Implications for Individuals and Organizations,” with Julia Bear, in Schneider and Honeyman, Essentials of Negotiation, forthcoming 2019.

“Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt: The Impact of Causal Reasoning Depths on How Violations of Gender Stereotypes are Evaluated,” with Steffen Keck, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2017, 39(3).

“Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability,” with Lise Vesterlund, Maria Recalde, and Laurie Weingart, American Economic Review, 107(3), March 2017.

“Relational Accounts: An Answer for Women to the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma,” with Hannah Riley Bowles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(1), pp. 80-96, 2013.

 “Notes on Behavioral Economics and Labor Market Policies,” with William Congdon, Sendhil Mullainathan, and Lawrence Katz, IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 1(2), October 2012.

“Negotiation Topic as a Moderator of Gender Differences in Performance,” with Julia Bear, Psychological Science. July 2012, Volume 23, pp. 743-744.

“An Answer to Women’s Negotiation Compensation Dilemma,” with Hannah Bowles, Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 2009.

“Social Incentives For Gender Differences in the Propensity to Initiate Negotiations: Sometimes It Does Hurt to Ask, with Hannah Riley Bowles and Lei Lai, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 103(2), 2007, pgs 84-103.

“Who Goes to the Bargaining Table? The Influence of Gender and Framing on the Initiation of Negotiation,” with Deborah Small, Michele Gelfand, and Hilary Gettman, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(4), 2007, pgs. 600-613.

 “Split-Awards and Disputes: An Experimental Study of a Strategic Model of Litigation,” with Claudia Landeo and Maxim Nikitin, forthcoming, Rand Journal of Economics.

“Propensity to Initiate Negotiations: A New Look at Gender Variation in Negotiation Behavior,” forthcoming in Social Psychology and Economics, De Cremer, Zeelenberg, Murnighan (Eds.). 2006.

“Gender in Negotiations: A Motivated Social Cognitive Analysis,” with Laura Kray, in Frontiers of Social Psychology: Negotiations (Leigh Thompson, Ed.), 2006.

“Constraints and Triggers: Situational Mechanics of Gender in Negotiation” with Hannah Riley Bowles and Kathleen McGinn, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(6), 2005, pp. 951-965.

“Wage Spillovers in Public Sector Contract Negotiations: The Importance of Social Comparisons, with John Engberg and Robert Greenbaum, Regional Science and Urban Economics, vol. 34(5), 2005, pp. 395-410.

"Settlement Escrows in Negotiations," with Claudia Landeo, Journal of Economics, Behavior, and Organizations,53(3), 2004, pp. 401-417.

“Nice Girls Don’t Ask,” with Sara Laschever, Michele Gelfand, and Deborah Small, Harvard Business Review, October 2003.

Community Service

In 2006, she founded the Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society (PROGRESS). The mission of PROGRESS is to pursue gender equity and foster positive societal change for all women through education, partnerships, and research. Her program develops tools to teach women and girls how to harness the power of negotiation. PROGRESS has developed a partnership with the Girl Scouts Trillium Council and in fall 2006 will offer a Girl Scout “badge” for negotiation called “Win-Win: How to Get What You Want.” PROGRESS is also working to develop a negotiation video game for girls as well as short films for girls on how to negotiate effectively.

Linda Babcock, Ph.D. is also the faculty lead for Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business Executive Education's Behavioral Economics and the Science of Decision-Making program.