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High School Experiences, the Gender Wage Gap, and the Selection of Occupation

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  • Douglas Webber

    ()

  • Michael Strain

Abstract

This paper finds that high-school leadership experiences explain a significant portion of the residual gender wage gap and selection into management occupations. The results imply that high-school leadership could build non-cognitive, productive skills that are rewarded years later in the labor market and that explain a portion of the systematic difference in pay between men and women. Alternatively, high-school leadership could be a proxy variable for personality characteristics that differ between men and women and that drive higher pay and becoming a manager. Because high school leadership experiences are exogenous to direct labor market experiences, the results leave less room for direct labor market discrimination as a driver of the gender wage gap and occupation selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Webber & Michael Strain, 2015. "High School Experiences, the Gender Wage Gap, and the Selection of Occupation," Working Papers id:7316, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:7316
    Note: Institutional Papers
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dina Shatnawi & Ronald Oaxaca & Michael Ransom, 2014. "Movin’ on up: Hierarchical occupational segmentation and gender wage gaps," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(3), pages 315-338, September.
    2. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
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    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    5. Claudia Goldin, 2014. "A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1091-1119, April.
    6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
    7. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-128, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage gap; non-cognitive skills; occupational choice; women; men; gender discrimination; remuneration;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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