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Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection

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  • Doris Weichselbaumer

    ()
    (University of Linz)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether women have less access to attractive, traditionally male jobs because their sex-stereotypical personality does not fit the job. If women as a group are assumed not to possess the required characteristics for a male occupation, they will not be hired for such jobs. In this study we contrast the labor outcomes of a woman who possesses the required masculine characteristics with those of a traditional female. If a woman can demonstrate that she does not correspond to her sex stereotype and in fact does have the stereotypical personality traits of a man, she should be treated like a man. A woman with identical human capital and personality should be equally productive as a man-no other conceivable variables might determine productivity apart from knowledge and personality traits. Consequently, she should receive equal treatment. If such an equal treatment is not observable, we argue, discrimination has been documented.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume30/V30N2P159_186.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 159-186

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:30:y:2004:i:2:p:159-186

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Keywords: Discrimination;

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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. Jerry M. Newman, 1978. "Discrimination in recruitment: An empirical analysis," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 32(1), pages 15-23, October.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  4. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," NBER Working Papers 4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Neumark, David, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-41, August.
  6. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  7. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  8. Peter A. Riach & Judith Rich, 1995. "An Investigation of Gender Discrimination in Labor Hiring," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 343-356, Summer.
  9. Michael Firth, 1981. "Racial discrimination in the British labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(2), pages 265-272, January.
  10. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-56, September.
  11. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
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