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Do Non-Cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People?

Heather Antecol () and Deborah Cobb-Clark
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Heather Antecol: Claremont McKenna College

No 5093, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper investigates the role of non-cognitive skills in the occupational segregation of young workers entering the U.S. labor market. We find entry into male-dominated fields of study and male-dominated occupations are both related to the extent to which individuals believe they are intelligent and have "male" traits while entry into male-dominated occupations is also related to the willingness to work hard, impulsivity, and the tendency to avoid problems. The nature of these relationships differs for men and women, however. Non-cognitive skills (intelligence and impulsivity) also influence movement into higher-paid occupations, but in ways that are similar for men and women. On balance, non-cognitive skills provide an important, though incomplete, explanation for segregation in the fields that young men and women study as well as in the occupations in which they are employed.

Keywords: gender; youth; non-cognitive skills; occupation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2010-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-lab and nep-neu
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Published - published in: Labour Economics, 2013, 21, 59-73

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Working Paper: Do Non-cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People? (2010) Downloads
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