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Gender-Based Occupational Segregation and Sex Differences in Sensory, Motor, and Spatial Aptitudes

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  • Michael Baker

    (University of Toronto
    National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Kirsten Cornelson

    (University of Notre Dame)

Abstract

Research on sex differences in humans documents gender differences in sensory, motor, and spatial aptitudes. These aptitudes, as captured by Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) codes, predict the occupational choices of men and women in the directions indicated by this research. We simulate that eliminating selection on these skills reduces the Duncan index of gender-based occupational segregation by 20 % to 23 % in 1970 and 2012, respectively. Eliminating selection on DOT variables capturing other accounts of this segregation has a smaller impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker & Kirsten Cornelson, 2018. "Gender-Based Occupational Segregation and Sex Differences in Sensory, Motor, and Spatial Aptitudes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(5), pages 1749-1775, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0706-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-018-0706-3
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Occupational segregation; Skill differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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