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Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection

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  • Doris Weichselbaumer

    (University of Linz)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether women have less access to attractive, traditionally male jobs because their sex-stereotypical personality does not fit the job. If women as a group are assumed not to possess the required characteristics for a male occupation, they will not be hired for such jobs. In this study we contrast the labor outcomes of a woman who possesses the required masculine characteristics with those of a traditional female. If a woman can demonstrate that she does not correspond to her sex stereotype and in fact does have the stereotypical personality traits of a man, she should be treated like a man. A woman with identical human capital and personality should be equally productive as a man-no other conceivable variables might determine productivity apart from knowledge and personality traits. Consequently, she should receive equal treatment. If such an equal treatment is not observable, we argue, discrimination has been documented.

Suggested Citation

  • Doris Weichselbaumer, 2004. "Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 159-186, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:30:y:2004:i:2:p:159-186
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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