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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.

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  • 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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    3. Humburg, M., 2014. "Personality and field of study choice," Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    4. 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).
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    6. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Höckel, Lisa Sofie, 2018. "Collectivism in the labor market: Evidence from second generation immigrants in the United States," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1347-1369.
    8. Schnitzlein, Daniel D. & Stephani, Jens, 2016. "Locus of Control and low-wage mobility," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-177.
    9. Maria Knoth Humlum & Anne Brink Nandrup & Nina Smith, 2019. "Closing or reproducing the gender gap? Parental transmission, social norms and education choice," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 455-500, April.
    10. Rahmah Ismail & Maryam Farhadi & Chung‐Khain Wye, 2017. "Occupational Segregation and Gender Wage Differentials: Evidence from Malaysia," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 381-401, December.
    11. Kristin J. Kleinjans & Karl Fritjof Krassel & Anthony Dukes, 2017. "Occupational Prestige and the Gender Wage Gap," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 565-593, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Psychosocial traits; Occupation; Youth; Gender;
    All these keywords.

    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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