Purpose: The aim of the article is to examine the selected determinants of the expected rate of return on human capital.
Methodology: We conducted an anonymous survey of expected salaries among the Accounting and Controlling students at the Cracow University of Economics, which provided a unique setting for the analysis. On the basis of collected data for the cost of living and the cost of professional education for every participant, we used the human capital model developed by Dobija to compute the perceived level of the human capital of each individual. Then, we compared the expected salaries with the perceived levels of human capital and computed expected rates of return on human capital. The following research methods are used: literature review, statistical tests, econometric modeling.
Findings: On the sample of 754 respondents, we found that male students expect a higher rate of return on their human capital than female students, while older students expect a lower rate of return on human capital than younger students.
Research limitations: Only one field of study was used to measure the determinants of the expected rate of return on human capital.
Originality: We contribute to the salary expectations and human capital literature by identifying a significant gender salary expectations gap that holds even after considering individually assessed costs of living and professional education. Our findings are consistent with the well-known observation that women tend to expect lower salaries than men.