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Gender Differences in Careers


  • Kauhanen, Antti
  • Napari, Sami


We examine gender differences in careers using a large linked employer-employee dataset on Finnish white-collar manufacturing workers over the period of 19812006. Our focus is on labour market entrants whom we follow over time. We find that men start their careers from higher ranks of the hierarchy than women do, although gender differences in education explain much of this gap. Men are also more likely to be promoted than women, especially during the first years in the labour market, amplifying the gender differences in hierarchical positions already apparent at labour market entry. Men earn higher starting wages than women, while the results concerning gender differences in the returns to career progression are not clearcut, but depend on the type of career event and on the career phase. Overall, our results helps to understand the factors behind the large increase in the gender wage gap during the early career observed in the earlier literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Kauhanen, Antti & Napari, Sami, 2011. "Gender Differences in Careers," Discussion Papers 1241, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1241

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1997. "Unequal Assignment and Unequal Promotion in Job Ladders," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 43-71, January.
    2. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2000. "Gender, race, pay and promotion in the British nursing profession: estimation of a generalized ordered probit model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 367-399.
    3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2001. "Getting Ahead: The Determinants of and Payoffs to Internal Promotion for Young U.S. Men and Women," IZA Discussion Papers 288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item


    careers; internal labour markets; promotions; mobility; wage growth; gender wage gap;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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