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From Pink-Collar to Lab Coat. Cultural Persistence and Diffusion of Socialist Gender Norms

Author

Listed:
  • Naomi Friedman-Sokuler

    (Bar-Ilan University [Israël])

  • Claudia Senik

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité)

Abstract

This paper documents the persistence and diffusion of Soviet gender-equal norms, exploiting the 1990's mass migration from the Former Soviet Union to Israel as a natural experiment. We track educational achievement and choices of an entire cohort, comparing gender gaps among Native students versus immigrants from FSU and other countries. We find evidence of vertical and horizontal diffusion of Soviet norms with respect to tertiary study field choice, especially those directly related to labor market occupations. In both traditionally male-dominated STEM fields and traditionally female "pink collar" jobs, such as education and social work, gender gaps are smallest among FSU immigrants. We show that these specific preferences are not explained by comparative advantages, as measured by early achievement. Finally, we show that among Natives the gender gap in field choice narrows with the presence of FSU immigrants, reflecting a shift in choice patterns of native women shift towards STEM and away from Pink collar study fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Naomi Friedman-Sokuler & Claudia Senik, 2023. "From Pink-Collar to Lab Coat. Cultural Persistence and Diffusion of Socialist Gender Norms," Working Papers halshs-02872229, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02872229
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-02872229v2
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    culture; Gender norms; Education choice; STEM; Occupational choice; Immigration; Soviet Union; Israel;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • P30 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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