Occupational Prestige and the Gender Wage Gap

29 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017

See all articles by Kristin J. Kleinjans

Kristin J. Kleinjans

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Economics

Karl Fritjof Krassel

Danish Institute of Governmental Research (KORA)

Anthony J. Dukes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

Occupational segregation by gender remains widespread and explains a significant part of the gender wage gap. We shed light on the reasons why occupational segregation persists despite the increases in women's education and labor force participation, and why it results in a gender wage gap. Women express a stronger relative preference than men for occupations that are valuable to society, which we argue is captured by their occupational prestige. If women prefer occupations with higher occupational prestige, they will earn lower wages because of compensating wage differentials. Using conditional logit models of occupational choice, we find statistically significant support for this hypothesis. The effect is economically significant: the gender differences in the weights placed on prestige and wages can explain up to one half of the gender wage gap resulting from occupational segregation, or about one fourth of the overall gender wage gap. Our results are strongest for individuals with low ability, which suggests that social norms may be an important factor in generating these gender differences.

Suggested Citation

Kleinjans, Kristin J. and Krassel, Karl Fritjof and Dukes, Anthony J., Occupational Prestige and the Gender Wage Gap (November 2017). Kyklos, Vol. 70, Issue 4, pp. 565-593, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3047541 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12149

Kristin J. Kleinjans (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Economics ( email )

Fullerton, CA 92834
United States

HOME PAGE: http://business.fullerton.edu/Economics/kkleinjans/

Karl Fritjof Krassel

Danish Institute of Governmental Research (KORA) ( email )

Dampfaergevej 27-29
Copenhagen, 2100
Denmark

Anthony J. Dukes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-3846 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~dukes/

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