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

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Author Info

  • Antecol, Heather

    ()
    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

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. Non-cognitive 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5093.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2013, 21, 59 – 73
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5093

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

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  1. Brown, Sarah & Fry, Tim R.L. & Harris, Mark N., 2008. "Untangling supply and demand in occupational choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 414-417, May.
  2. 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).
  3. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2008. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  4. Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers, CIRANO 97s-38, CIRANO.
  5. 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, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, 06.
  6. 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).
  7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  9. 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, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 543-554, August.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. Gabriella Conti & Sylvia Fruehwirth-Schnatter & James J. Heckman & Remi Piatek, 2014. "Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2014-014, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  6. Viinikainen, Jutta & Kokko, Katja, 2012. "Personality traits and unemployment: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1204-1222.
  7. 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.

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