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Gender-Biased Behavior at Work: What Can Surveys Tell Us About the Link Between Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination?

Author

Listed:
  • Antecol, Heather

    () (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Barcus, Vanessa E.

    () (affiliation not available)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

Abstract

This paper examines the links between survey-based reports of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. In particular, we are interested in assessing whether these concepts measure similar forms of gender-biased behavior and whether they have the same effect on workers’ job satisfaction and intentions to leave their jobs. Our results provide little support for the notion that survey-based measures of sexual harassment and gender discrimination capture the same underlying behavior. Respondents do appear to differentiate between incidents of sexual harassment and incidents of gender discrimination in the workplace. Both gender discrimination and sexual harassment are associated with a substantially higher degree of job dissatisfaction, particularly amongst men. While women who experience gender discrimination are somewhat more likely to intend to change jobs, amongst men it is sexual harassment that leads to an increased propensity to quit. We find no significant interactions between our two measures of gender bias, perhaps implying that the intensity of gender bias is relatively unimportant for understanding job dissatisfaction and the intention to quit. At the same time, this may reflect the lack of precision with which we estimate this interaction, especially for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Antecol, Heather & Barcus, Vanessa E. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2007. "Gender-Biased Behavior at Work: What Can Surveys Tell Us About the Link Between Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination?," IZA Discussion Papers 2647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2647
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heather Antecol & Deborah Cobb-clark, 2003. "Does Sexual Harassment Training Change Attitudes? A View from the Federal Level," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(4), pages 826-842.
    2. Barbezat, Debra A & Hughes, James W, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidence: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 277-286, March.
    3. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah, 2006. "The sexual harassment of female active-duty personnel: Effects on job satisfaction and intentions to remain in the military," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 55-80, September.
    4. Shields, Michael A & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2002. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(274), pages 295-226, May.
    5. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1997. "Age Discrimination, Job Separations, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 779-811.
    6. Kevin F. Hallock & Wallace Hendricks & Emer Broadbent, 1998. "Discrimination by Gender and Disability Status: Do Worker Perceptions Match Statistical Measures?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 245-263, October.
    7. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    8. David N. Laband & DBernard F. Lentz, 1993. "Is There Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession? Further Evidence on Tangible and Intangible Margins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 230-258.
    9. Even, William E, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidence: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 287-289, March.
    10. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter, 2000. "Gender as an Impediment to Labor Market Success: Why Do Young Women Report Greater Harm?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 702-728, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    job satisfaction; gender discrimination; sexual harassment; intentions to quit;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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