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Does Rosie Like Riveting? Male and Female Occupational Choices

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  • Lordan, Grace

    () (London School of Economics)

  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen

    () (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Occupational segregation and pay gaps by gender remain large while many of the constraints traditionally believed to be responsible for these gaps have weakened over time. Here, we explore the possibility that women and men have different tastes for the content of the work they do. We run regressions of job satisfaction on the share of males in an occupation. Overall, there is a strong negative relationship between female satisfaction and the share of males. This relationship is fairly stable across different specifications and contexts, and the magnitude of the association is not attenuated by personal characteristics or other occupation averages. Notably, the effect is muted for women but largely unchanged for men when we include three measures that proxy the content and context of the work in an occupation, which we label 'people,' 'brains,' and 'brawn.' These results suggest that women may care more about job content, and this is a possible factor preventing them from entering some male dominated professions. We continue to find a strong negative relationship between female satisfaction and the occupation level share of males in a separate analysis that includes share of males in the firm. This suggests that we are not just picking up differences in the work environment, although these seem to play an independent and important role as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Lordan, Grace & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2016. "Does Rosie Like Riveting? Male and Female Occupational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 10129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10129
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2016. "Preference for the Workplace, Human Capital, and Gender," NBER Working Papers 22173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shulamit Kahn & Donna Ginther, 2017. "Women and STEM," NBER Working Papers 23525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Grace Lordan & David Neumark, 2017. "People Versus Machines: The Impact of Minimum Wages on Automatable Jobs," NBER Working Papers 23667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Andreas Kuhn & Stefan C. Wolter, 2018. "The Strength of Gender Norms and Gender-Stereotypical Occupational Aspirations Among Adolescents," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0151, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    5. Wiswall, Matthew & Zafar, Basit, 2016. "Preference for the workplace, investment in human capital, and gender," Staff Reports 767, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Mar 2017.
    6. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:40-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Lordan, Grace & Neumark, David, 2017. "People versus machines: the impact of minimum wages on automatable," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84060, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    occupational choice; job content; gender; preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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