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Masculine vs Feminine Personality Traits and Women’s Employment Outcomes in Britain: A Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Drydakis, Nick
  • Sidiropoulou, Katerina
  • Patnaik, Swetketu
  • Selmanovic, Sandra
  • Bozani, Vasiliki

Abstract

In the current study, we utilized a correspondent test to capture the way in which firms respond to women who exhibit masculine and feminine personality traits. In doing so, we minimized the potential for reverse causality bias and unobserved heterogeneities to occur. Women who exhibit masculine personality traits have a 4.3 percentage points greater likelihood of gaining access to occupations than those displaying feminine personality traits. In both male- and female-dominated occupations, women with masculine personality traits have an occupational access advantage, as compared to those exhibiting feminine personality traits. Moreover, women with masculine personality traits take up positions which offer 10 percentage points higher wages, in comparison with those displaying feminine personality traits. Furthermore, wage premiums are higher for those exhibiting masculine personality traits in male-dominated occupations, than for female-dominated positions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first field experiment to examine the effect of masculine and feminine personality traits on entry-level pay scales. As feminine personality traits are stereotypically attributed to women, and these characteristics appear to yield fewer rewards within the market, they may offer one of many plausible explanations as to why women experience higher unemployment rates, whilst also receiving lower earnings, as compared to men.

Suggested Citation

  • Drydakis, Nick & Sidiropoulou, Katerina & Patnaik, Swetketu & Selmanovic, Sandra & Bozani, Vasiliki, 2017. "Masculine vs Feminine Personality Traits and Women’s Employment Outcomes in Britain: A Field Experiment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 152, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:152
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Judy Wajcman, 2000. "Feminism Facing Industrial Relations in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(2), pages 183-201, June.
    2. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 479-511, July.
    3. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    4. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2004. "Is It Sex or Personality? The Impact of Sex Stereotypes on Discrimination in Applicant Selection," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 159-186, Spring.
    5. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
    6. Nick Drydakis, 2014. "Bullying at school and labour market outcomes," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(8), pages 1185-1211, October.
    7. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:2:p:183-211 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
    9. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    10. Blau Francine D & Kahn Lawrence M, 2007. "The Gender Pay Gap," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-6, June.
    11. Katrina Honeyman & Jordan Goodman, 1991. "Women's work, gender conflict, and labour markets in Europe, 1500-1900," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 44(4), pages 608-628, November.
    12. Nick Drydakis, 2015. "The effect of sexual activity on wages," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 192-215, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Masculine traits; Feminine traits; Occupational Access; Wages; Field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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