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Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Marianne A. Ferber

Abstract

Using detailed information on the career plans and earnings expectations of college business school seniors, we test the hypothesis that women who plan to work intermittently choose jobs with lower rewards to work experience in return for lower penalties for labor force interruptions. We find that while men and women expect similar starting salaries, women anticipate considerably lower earnings in subsequent years, even under the assumption of continuous employment after leaving school. While it is also true that women in the sample plan to work fewer years than men, these differences do not explain the observed gender differences in expected earnings profiles. We also find no evidence that gender differences in expected earnings have any effect on the number of years these women plan to be in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau & Marianne A. Ferber, 1991. "Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 581-607.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:26:y:1991:i:4:p:581-607
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    Cited by:

    1. Botelho, Anabela & Pinto, Ligia Costa, 2004. "Students' expectations of the economic returns to college education: results of a controlled experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 645-653, December.
    2. Anchor, John R. & Fiserová, Jana & Mars[iota]ková, Katerina & Urbánek, Václav, 2011. "Student expectations of the financial returns to higher education in the Czech Republic and England: Evidence from business schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 673-681, August.
    3. Garcia, Rene & Bonomo, Marco, 2001. "Tests of conditional asset pricing models in the Brazilian stock market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-90, February.
    4. Alan Benson, 2014. "Rethinking the Two-Body Problem: The Segregation of Women Into Geographically Dispersed Occupations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1619-1639, October.
    5. Wolter, Stefan C. & Zbinden, André, 2001. "Rates of Return to Education: The View of Students in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Orazem, Peter & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1997. "Macrodynamic Implications of Income-Transfer Policies for Human Capital Investment and School Effort," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 305-329, September.
    7. Koncz, Katalin, 2011. "A munkaerőpiac nemek szerinti szegregációjának jellemzői, mechanizmusa és következményei
      [The features, mechanism and results of gender-based segregation on the labour market]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 74-94.
    8. Voicu, Alexandru & Buddelmeyer, Hielke, 2003. "Children and Women's Participation Dynamics: Transitory and Long-Term Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 729, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Marlene Kim, 2013. "Race and ethnicity in the workplace," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 14, pages 218-235 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," IZA Discussion Papers 299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    12. Schwieren,Christiane, 2003. "The gender wage gap – due to differences in efficiency wage effects or discrimination?," Research Memorandum 046, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    13. Basit Zafar, 2011. "How Do College Students Form Expectations?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 301-348.
    14. Montmarquette, Claude & Cannings, Kathy & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 2002. "How do young people choose college majors?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 543-556, December.
    15. Ariana Need & Uulkje Jong, 2008. "Personality traits and gender-specific income expectations in Dutch higher education," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 113-128, March.
    16. Júlia Varga, 2002. "Earnings Expectations and Higher-education Enrolment Decisions in Hungary," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 24(1), pages 121-152, July.
    17. Alex Armand, 2015. "Who wears the trousers in the family? Intra-household resource control, subjective expectations and human capital investment," NCID Working Papers 03/2015, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    18. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
    19. Tim Sass & Jennifer Troyer, 1999. "Affirmative action, political representation, unions, and female police employment," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 571-587, December.
    20. Bisakha Sen, 2003. "Why do Women feel the way they do about market work: the role of familial, social and economic factors," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(2), pages 211-234.
    21. Vaishali Zambre, 2018. "The Gender Gap in Wage Expectations: Do Young Women Trade off Higher Wages for Lower Wage Risk?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1742, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    22. Varga, Júlia, 2001. "A kereseti várakozások hatása az érettségizők továbbtanulási döntésére
      [The effects of earning expectations on the decisions of school leavers about further study]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 615-639.
    23. David Campbell, 2002. "Interrupted Work Careers and the Starting Salaries of Female Workers in Britain," Studies in Economics 0204, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    24. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Belief updating among college students: evidence from experimental variation in information," Staff Reports 516, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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