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Do Gender Differences in Preferences for Competition Matter for Occupational Expectations?

  • Kristin Kleinjans


    (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Occupational segregation by gender is prevalent and can explain some of the gender wage gap. I empirically investigate a possible explanation for this segregation: the gender difference in preferences for competition, which in recent experimental studies has been found to affect economic outcomes. I find that women’s greater distaste for competition decreases educational achievement. It can also explain part of the gender segregation in occupational fields. Specifically, accounting for distaste for competition reduces gender segregation in the fields of Law, Business & Management, Health, and Education.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2008-09.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2008-09
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  1. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, May.
  2. Boskin, Michael J, 1974. "A Conditional Logit Model of Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 389-98, Part I, M.
  3. Lemieux, Thomas & MacLeod, W. Bentley & Parent, Daniel, 2007. "Performance Pay and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Melissa McInerney, 2008. "Changes in Workplace Segregation in the United States between 1990 and 2000: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," NBER Chapters, in: The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, pages 163-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," NBER Working Papers 11953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John List & Kenneth Leonard & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society," Artefactual Field Experiments 00049, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
  8. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," NBER Working Papers 7003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:3:p:1067-1101 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  11. Elina Pylkkänen & Nina Smith, 2003. "Career Interruptions Due to Parental Leave: A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
  12. Harper, Barry & Haq, Mohammad, 2001. "Ambition, Discrimination, and Occupational Attainment: A Study of British Cohort," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 695-720, October.
  13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Christiansen, Charlotte & Joensen, Juanna Schrøter & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2006. "The Risk-Return Trade-Off in Human Capital Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 1962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:3:p:1049-1074 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Muriel Niederle & Alexandra H. Yestrumskas, 2008. "Gender Differences in Seeking Challenges: The Role of Institutions," NBER Working Papers 13922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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