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In search of gender differences in access to continuing training: Is there a gender training gap and if yes, why?


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  • Dieckhoff, Martina
  • Steiber, Nadia
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    Gender differences in access to continuing training are often argued to be a central cause of persisting gender inequalities in occupational attainment. Yet, existing empirical work has presented rather mixed evidence regarding a potential gender gap. With the aim to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying training participation, this paper carries out an empirical test of the central theoretical models commonly used to explain the (alleged) gender gap. Using data from the European Social Survey, we find that working men are more likely to train than working women, controlling for worker and job characteristics. Moreover, common theoretical approaches to understanding gendered training behaviour show some explanatory power for male workers, while they largely fail to predict women's training incidence. -- Geschlechterunterschiede im Zugang zu beruflicher Weiterbildung gelten weiterhin als wichtige Ursache weiter bestehender Ungleichheiten zwischen den Geschlechtern in Bezug auf deren Chancen am Arbeitsmarkt und deren beruflichen Erfolg. Allerdings schaffen empirische Studien bis dato keine Klarheit darüber, ob bzw. welche Geschlechterunterschiede im Weiterbildungsverhalten tatsächlich bestehen. Die vorliegende Analyse untersucht, auf Basis harmonisierter Survey-Daten des European Social Survey 2004, berufsbezogene Weiterbildungsaktivitäten in Europa und testet eine Reihe von mikroökonomischen und soziologischen Theorien (z.B. Humankapitaltheorie, Geschlechtersegregation am Arbeitsmarkt, Diskriminierung durch den Arbeitgeber etc.), die häufig zur Erklärung von Geschlechterunterschieden in der Teilnahme an Weiterbildung herangezogen werden. Der Beitrag untersucht die Mechanismen, die einem potenziell geschlechtsspezifischen Teilnahmeverhalten an beruflicher Weiterbildung zugrunde liegen. Die Ergebnisse der Analyse zeigen, dass männliche Arbeitnehmer, ceteris paribus, häufiger an berufsbezogener Weiterbildung teilnehmen als weibliche Arbeitnehmer. Als Fazit kann festgestellt werden, dass die vorherrschenden theoretischen Ansätze mehr Erklärungskraft für das Weiterbildungsverhalten von Männern als für jenes von Frauen haben. Vor allem in Bezug auf weibliches Weiterbildungsverhalten bei Präsenz von Betreuungspflichten für kleine Kinder zeigen sich vorherrschende Erklärungsmodelle als wenig valid.

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Skill Formation and Labor Markets with number SP I 2009-504.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbslm:spi2009504

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    1. Annemarie Nelen & Andries de Grip, 2009. "Why Do Part-time Workers Invest Less in Human Capital than Full-timers?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(s1), pages 61-83, 03.
    2. Frederiksen, Anders, 2008. "Gender differences in job separation rates and employment stability: New evidence from employer-employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 915-937, October.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, 2nd ed," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, July.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Investment in Human Capital: Rates of Return," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 59-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training in Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 346-360, 04/05.
    6. Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Age, Earnings, Wealth, and Human Capital," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 228-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Melanie K. Jones & Paul L. Latreille & Peter J. Sloane, 2008. "Crossing the Tracks? Trends in the Training of Male and Female Workers in Great Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(2), pages 268-282, 06.
    8. Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Investment in Human Capital: Effects on Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 29-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Vanessa Gash, 2009. "Sacrificing Their Careers for Their Families? An Analysis of the Penalty to Motherhood in Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 569-586, September.
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