Unequal gender outcomes in occupational success unravel through different channels in higher education. Using the AlmaLaurea dataset comprised of 80% of Italian graduates and 98 fields of study, this article investigates whether men and women receive similar returns on employment and earnings when choosing the same field of study. Two complementary perspectives are applied - Kanter's theory of relative numbers and the status theory of gender - to examine the quantitative and qualitative differences between fields. The results show that the most gender 'balanced' fields of study are the most gender unequal in terms of earnings and employment. Separate analyses demonstrate that the status of a field interacts with its gender composition, and gender gaps in female-intensive nurturing fields shrink faster with an increasing proportion of women, albeit at higher absolute levels compared with non-nurturing fields. Therefore, nurturing fields of study should not necessarily be considered as levelling gender inequality in the labour market.

Variations of Gender Gaps in the Labour Market Outcomes of Graduates across Fields of Study: A (Combined) Test of Two Theories

Kulic, N
2022-01-01

Abstract

Unequal gender outcomes in occupational success unravel through different channels in higher education. Using the AlmaLaurea dataset comprised of 80% of Italian graduates and 98 fields of study, this article investigates whether men and women receive similar returns on employment and earnings when choosing the same field of study. Two complementary perspectives are applied - Kanter's theory of relative numbers and the status theory of gender - to examine the quantitative and qualitative differences between fields. The results show that the most gender 'balanced' fields of study are the most gender unequal in terms of earnings and employment. Separate analyses demonstrate that the status of a field interacts with its gender composition, and gender gaps in female-intensive nurturing fields shrink faster with an increasing proportion of women, albeit at higher absolute levels compared with non-nurturing fields. Therefore, nurturing fields of study should not necessarily be considered as levelling gender inequality in the labour market.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1466565
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact