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Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Gender Differences in Professional Employment

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  • Kathrin Leuze
  • Allessandra Rusconi

Abstract

Occupational sex segregation is a persistent source of social inequalities. The increasing participation of women in tertiary education and rising female employment rates, however, have given hope that gender inequalities will decline as a result of growing female opportunities for high skill employment in the service sector, e.g. the professions. This paper asks whether such optimistic accounts are justified by comparing male and female professional career trajectories in Germany. Our main assumptions hold that, even today, strong gender differences continue to exist between public and private sector professions, which are further aggravated by different forms of family commitment. Overall, our analyses demonstrate that even among highly qualified men and women, important patterns of sex segregation are present. Aninitial horizontal segregation between public and private sectors brings about "equal, but different" career prospects, which in the phase of family formation turn into vertical segregation, promoting "different and therefore unequal" labor market chances.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathrin Leuze & Allessandra Rusconi, 2009. "Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Gender Differences in Professional Employment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 187, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp187
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.98938.de/diw_sp0187.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barbara Petrongolo, 2004. "Gender Segregation in Employment Contracts," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 331-345, 04/05.
    2. Emer Smyth, 2002. "Gender Differentiation and Early Labour Market Integration across Europe," MZES Working Papers 46, MZES.
    3. Fagan, Colette & O'Reilly, Jacqueline & Halpin, Brendan, 2005. "Job opportunities for whom? Labour market dynamics and service sector employment growth in Germany and Britain," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2005-110, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. Jones, David R & Makepeace, Gerald H, 1996. "Equal Worth, Equal Opportunities: Pay and Promotion in an Internal Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 401-409, March.
    5. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
    6. Christal Lane & Margaret Potton & Wolfgang Littek, 2000. "The Professions Between State and Market: A Cross-National Study of Convergence and Divergence," Working Papers wp189, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
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    Keywords

    professions; sex segregation; labor market outcomes; family formation; tertiary education; German;

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