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

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

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 59-73

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:21:y:2013:i:c:p:59-73
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