The Gendered Societal Equilibrium: In Search for an Economic Rationale

28 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2020

Date Written: May 17, 2020

Abstract

Several occupations are male-dominated while others are women-dominated, and gender-based segregation shows great resistance to change. Researchers attribute it to secular stereotypes, socialization practices and gender-constructed roles. This paper attempts to establish an economic rationale behind these theories. In this paper, women have greater difficulty to conciliate the labor market with the household and for that reason have a higher cost of effort. We found that when the marginal cost of effort is increasing with effort, production tends to be organized in more competitive ways in which men are more competitive. In those cases, the economic forces push men towards these more competitive occupations, which are also the ones with higher returns. On the other hand, when the marginal cost of effort is decreasing with effort, production is organized in less competitive ways and women tend to provide higher effort than men. In those cases, the economic forces push women towards these less competitive occupations, which are also the ones with lower returns. These findings may help researchers and decision-makers better understand the economic mechanisms behind men and women occupational choices, e.g., in STEM, and designing policies that can allow men and women to have the same labor market opportunities.

Keywords: Gender Equality; Occupational Segregation; Effort Cost; Stereotypes; Economic Incentives

JEL Classification: J16; J30; D63; C72

Suggested Citation

Osório Costa, António Miguel, The Gendered Societal Equilibrium: In Search for an Economic Rationale (May 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3609180 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3609180

António Miguel Osório Costa (Contact Author)

Universitat Rovira i Virgili ( email )

Av. de la Universitat 1
Reus, Tarragona 43204
Spain
(+34)977759891 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://gandalf.fcee.urv.es/departaments/economia/professors/aosorio/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
19
Abstract Views
202
PlumX Metrics