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Do Non-Cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People?

  • Antecol, Heather

    ()

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

This paper investigates the role of non-cognitive skills in the occupational segregation of young workers entering the U.S. labor market. We find entry into male-dominated fields of study and male-dominated occupations are both related to the extent to which individuals believe they are intelligent and have "male" traits while entry into male-dominated occupations is also related to the willingness to work hard, impulsivity, and the tendency to avoid problems. The nature of these relationships differs for men and women, however. Non-cognitive skills (intelligence and impulsivity) also influence movement into higher-paid occupations, but in ways that are similar for men and women. On balance, non-cognitive skills provide an important, though incomplete, explanation for segregation in the fields that young men and women study as well as in the occupations in which they are employed.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5093.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5093.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2013, 21, 59 – 73
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5093
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  1. Juan D. Bar�N & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(273), pages 227-246, 06.
  2. Brown, Sarah & Fry, Tim R.L. & Harris, Mark N., 2008. "Untangling supply and demand in occupational choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 414-417, May.
  3. Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-38, CIRANO.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 2002. "Recent Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender: A Look Across the Atlantic," IZA Discussion Papers 524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2007. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Ash, Ronald A. & Dupont, Brandon & Coder, LeAnne, 2008. "Why are there so few women in information technology? Assessing the role of personality in career choices," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 543-554, August.
  8. Boudarbat, Brahim & Montmarquette, Claude, 2007. "Choice of Fields of Study of Canadian University Graduates: The Role of Gender and their Parents’ Education," IZA Discussion Papers 2552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  10. Nicole M. Fortin & Michael Huberman, 2002. "Occupational Gender Segregation and Women's Wages in Canada: An Historical Perspective," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-22, CIRANO.
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