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Bayesian Learning and Gender Segregation

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Breen

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa

    (Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille)

Abstract

We present an explanation for the persistence of gender segregation in occupations and for the observed cross-country differences in its extent. Agents have imperfect information about their probability of success in different occupations and base their career choices on prior beliefs about these probabilities. Beliefs are updated according to Bayes's rule, implying that past differences in preferences over occupations across genders affect the beliefs of the current generation. Consequently, even when men and women become identical in their preferences, their career choices differ. Moreover, the way in which preferences change is shown to affect the degree of segregation.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Breen & Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa, 2002. "Bayesian Learning and Gender Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 899-922, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:4:p:899-922
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Engineer, Merwan & Welling, Linda, 1999. "Human capital, true love, and gender roles: is sex destiny?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 155-178, October.
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    1. Why do women earn less than men?
      by fazeer in an economist in paradise on 2009-09-14 20:04:32

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Filippin, Antonio & Ichino, Andrea, 2005. "Gender wage gap in expectations and realizations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 125-145, February.
    2. Almunia, Miguel & Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino, 2005. "Do Men and Women Economists Choose the Same Research Fields?: Evidence From Top 50 Departments," CEPR Discussion Papers 5421, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jaanika Merikull & Pille Mõtsmees, 2015. "Do you get what you ask? The gender gap in desired and realised wages," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2014-9, Bank of Estonia, revised 20 Jan 2015.
    4. Pierre-André Chiappori & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Divorce, Remarriage, and Child Support," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 37-74.
    5. Andrea Ichino & Anna Sanz De Galdeano, 2004. "Reconciling Motherhood and Work: Evidence from Time Use Data in Three Countries," CSEF Working Papers 114, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    6. Szulkin, Ryszard & Jonsson, Jan O., 2007. "Ethnic Segregation and Educational Outcomes in Swedish Comprehensive Schools," SULCIS Working Papers 2007:2, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    7. Peter Fallesen & Richard Breen, 2016. "Temporary Life Changes and the Timing of Divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1377-1398, October.
    8. Anne Boschini & Anna Sjögren, 2007. "Is Team Formation Gender Neutral? Evidence from Coauthorship Patterns," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 325-365.
    9. Paul Frijters, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-1, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    10. Sällström, Susanna & Sjogren, Anna, 2002. "Trapped, Delayed and Handicapped," CEPR Discussion Papers 3335, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. T. Clifton Green & Narasimhan Jegadeesh & Yue Tang, 2007. "Gender and Job Performance: Evidence from Wall Street," NBER Working Papers 12897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Antonio Filippin, 2003. "Discrimination and workers' expectations," Departmental Working Papers 2003-15, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    13. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2006. "Testing for Employee Discrimination in Britain using Matched Employer-Employee Data," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 8-2006, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    14. Mbratana, Taoufiki & Kenne Fotié, Andrée, 2017. "Investigating Gender Wage Gap in Employment: A Microeconometric Type-Analysis for Cameroon," MPRA Paper 78039, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Aleksander Kucel & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi, 2012. "Why do university graduates regret their study program? A comparison between Spain and the Netherlands," Working Papers in Economics 279, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    16. Basit Zafar, 2013. "College Major Choice and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
    17. Ali M. Ahmed, 2008. "If You Believe That Discrimination Exists, It Will," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 76(6), pages 613-628, December.
    18. Ahmed, Ali M., 2006. "Discrimination: Believe it and You'll See It," CAFO Working Papers 2006:10, Linnaeus University, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics.
    19. Mbratana, Taoufiki & Kenne Fotié, Andrée, 2017. "Investigating Gender Wage Gap in Employment: A Microeconometric Type-Analysis for Cameroon," MPRA Paper 78092, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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