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Do Non-cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People?

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  • Heather Antecol

    (The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, Claremont McKenna College; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of non-cognitive skills in the occupational segregation of young workers entering the U.S. labor market. We find entry into male-dominated fields of study and male-dominated occupations are both related to the extent to which individuals believe they are intelligent and have “male” traits while entry into male-dominated occupations is also related to the willingness to work hard, impulsivity, and the tendency to avoid problems. The nature of these relationships differs for men and women, however. Noncognitive skills (intelligence and impulsivity) also influence movement into higher-paid occupations, but in ways that are similar for men and women. On balance, non-cognitive skills provide an important, though incomplete, explanation for segregation in the fields that young men and women study as well as in the occupations in which they are employed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2010n13.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2010n13

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Keywords: non-cognitive skills; occupation; youth; gender;

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References

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  1. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 2002. "Recent Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender: A Look Across the Atlantic," IZA Discussion Papers 524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Juan D. Bar�N & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, 06.
  3. Montmarquette, C. & Cannings, C. & Mahseredjian,S., 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  4. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2007. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boudarbat, Brahim & Montmarquette, Claude, 2007. "Choice of Fields of Study of Canadian University Graduates: The Role of Gender and their Parents’ Education," IZA Discussion Papers 2552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  7. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Ash, Ronald A. & Dupont, Brandon & Coder, LeAnne, 2008. "Why are there so few women in information technology? Assessing the role of personality in career choices," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 543-554, August.
  8. Brown, Sarah & Fry, Tim R.L. & Harris, Mark N., 2008. "Untangling supply and demand in occupational choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 414-417, May.
  9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Prevoo, Tyas & ter Weel, Bas, 2013. "The Importance of Early Conscientiousness for Socio-Economic Outcomes: Evidence from the British Cohort Study," IZA Discussion Papers 7537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.
  3. Conti, Gabriella & Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia & Heckman, James J. & Piatek, Rémi, 2014. "Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 8338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Viinikainen, Jutta & Kokko, Katja, 2012. "Personality traits and unemployment: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1204-1222.
  5. Bodo Knoll & Nadine Riedel & Eva Schlenker, 2013. "He's a Chip Off the Old Block - The Persistence of Occupational Choices Across Generations," CESifo Working Paper Series 4428, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Bas ter Weel & Tyas Prevoo, 2013. "The Importance of Early Conscientiousness for Socio-Economic Outcomes: Evidence from the British Cohort Study," CPB Discussion Paper 251, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  7. Bodo Knoll & Nadine Riedel & Eva Schlenker, 2013. "He's a Chip Off the Old Block: The Persistency of Occupational Choices among Generations," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 561, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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