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Do psychosocial traits help explain gender segregation in young people's occupations?

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  • Antecol, Heather
  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of psychosocial traits 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 have “masculine” traits and believe they are intelligent, 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. Psychosocial traits (self-assessed intelligence and impulsivity) also influence movement into higher-paid occupations, but in ways that are similar for men and women. On balance, psychosocial traits 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2013. "Do psychosocial traits help explain gender segregation in young people's occupations?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 59-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:21:y:2013:i:c:p:59-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.12.005
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:129-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Humburg, M., 2014. "Personality and field of study choice," Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    3. Andreas Kuhn & Stefan C. Wolter, 2018. "The Strength of Gender Norms and Gender-Stereotypical Occupational Aspirations Among Adolescents," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0151, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    4. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Andrew D. McGee, 2015. "How the Perception of Control Influences Unemployed Job Search," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(1), pages 184-211, January.
    6. Schnitzlein, Daniel D. & Stephani, Jens, 2016. "Locus of Control and low-wage mobility," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-177.
    7. Humlum, Maria Knoth & Nandrup, Anne Brink & Smith, Nina, 2017. "Closing or Reproducing the Gender Gap? Parental Transmission, Social Norms and Education Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 10790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:4:p:565-593 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Psychosocial traits; Occupation; Youth; Gender;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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