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Gender Segregation in Occupations: The Role of Tipping and Social Interactions

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  • Jessica Pan

Abstract

This paper documents that the dynamics of occupational segregation are highly nonlinear and exhibit tipping patterns. Occupations experience discontinuous declines in net male employment growth at tipping points ranging from 25% to 45% (from 13% to 30%) female in white-collar (blue-collar) occupations from 1940 to 1990. These patterns appear consistent with a Schelling (1971) social interaction model where tipping results from male preferences toward the fraction female in their occupation. Supporting the model's predictions, evidence from the General Social Survey indicates that tipping points are lower in regions where males hold more sexist attitudes toward the appropriate role of women.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessica Pan, 2015. "Gender Segregation in Occupations: The Role of Tipping and Social Interactions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 365-408.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/678518
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:789-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:69:y:2017:i:3:p:734-757. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    5. Jennifer Roberts & Karl Taylor, 2017. "Intra-household commuting choices and local labour markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 734-757.
    6. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1130-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Katarzyna Bech & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Estimating gender wage gap in the presence of efficiency wages -- evidence from European data," GRAPE Working Papers 20, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    8. Francine Blau & Peter Brummund & Albert Liu, 2013. "Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender 1970–2009: Adjusting for the Impact of Changes in the Occupational Coding System," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 471-492, April.
    9. Nan L. Maxwell & Nathan Wozny, "undated". "Gender Gaps in Time Use and Earnings: What's Norms Got to Do With It?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 38f127bf7f494794807db7a3a, Mathematica Policy Research.
    10. Caetano, Gregorio & Maheshri, Vikram, 2017. "School segregation and the identification of tipping behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 115-135.
    11. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. 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).
    13. Fortin, Nicole M. & Bell, Brian & Böhm, Michael, 2017. "Top earnings inequality and the gender pay gap: Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 107-123.
    14. Nayoung Rim & Kyung Park, 2017. "The Gendered Effects of Career Concerns on Fertility," Departmental Working Papers 59, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    15. Claudia Goldin, 2014. "A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 313-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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