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Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation

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  • Francine D. Blau

Abstract

Using detailed information on the career plans and earnings expectations of college business school seniors, we test the hypothesis that women who plan to work intermittently choose jobs with lower rewards to work experience in return for lower penalties for labor force interruptions. We find that while men and women expect similar starting salaries, women anticipate considerably lower earnings in subsequent years, even under the assumption of continuous employment after leaving school. While it is also true that women in the sample plan to work fewer years than men, these differences do not explain the observed gender differences in expected earnings profiles. We also find no evidence that gender differences in expected earnings have any effect on the number of years these women plan to be in the labor market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3445.

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Date of creation: Sep 1990
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3445

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  1. Yoram Weiss, 1981. "Expected Interruptions in Labor Force Participation and Sex Related Differences in Earnings Growth," NBER Working Papers 0667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Steven H. Sandell & David Shapiro, 1980. "Work Expectations, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Wages of Young Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 335-353.
  3. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
  5. Paula England, 1982. "The Failure of Human Capital Theory to Explain Occupational Sex Segregation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 358-370.
  6. Polachek, Solomon William, 1975. "Differences in Expected Post-school Investments as a Determinant of Market Wage Differentials," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 451-70, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Ariana Need & Uulkje Jong, 2008. "Personality traits and gender-specific income expectations in Dutch higher education," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 113-128, March.
  2. MONTMARQUETTE, Claude & CANNINGS, Kathy & MAHSEREDJIAN, Sophie, 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Bonomo, M. & Garcia, R., 1997. "Tests of Conditonal Asset Pricing Models in the Brazilian Stock Market," Cahiers de recherche 9715, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  4. Orazem, Peter & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1997. " Macrodynamic Implications of Income-Transfer Policies for Human Capital Investment and School Effort," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 305-29, September.
  5. Julia Varga, 2001. "Earnings Expectations and Higher Education Enrolment Decisions in Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 0110, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  6. Tim Sass & Jennifer Troyer, 1999. "Affirmative action, political representation, unions, and female police employment," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 571-587, December.
  7. Voicu, Alexandru & Buddelmeyer, Hielke, 2003. "Children and Women's Participation Dynamics: Transitory and Long-Term Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 729, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," NBER Working Papers 7608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bisakha Sen, 2003. "Why do Women feel the way they do about market work: the role of familial, social and economic factors," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(2), pages 211-234.
  10. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Belief updating among college students: evidence from experimental variation in information," Staff Reports 516, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. repec:dgr:umamet:2003046 is not listed on IDEAS

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