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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31730

Title: Gender and Occupational Riskiness
Authors: Dan, Ioana
Advisor: Kambourov, Gueorgui
Siow, Aloysius
Department: Economics
Keywords: gender
occupational choice
Issue Date: 6-Jan-2012
Abstract: In this thesis I investigate the relationship between the gender distribution across industries and occupations and the incidence and consequences of displacement. First, I provide empirical evidence to support the idea that women self-select into less risky industries and occupations, that is industries and occupations with lower displacement rates and lower earnings growth. Using data from the Displaced Worker Survey (1984-2002), the corresponding Annual Demographic Supplement to the March Current Population Survey, and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, I find that, even though women have a lower incidence of displacement in the aggregate, they are more likely to get displaced at the one-digit industry and occupation level than men. Displacement is also more costly for women, in terms of both employment and monetary consequences, which suggests that women’s choice of safer sectors could be an insurance mechanism against the risk of displacement and its costly consequences. I then construct a dynamic occupational choice model in the spirit of Keane and Wolpin (1997), in which occupation(industry) groups differ not only in terms of the rate of human capital accumulation, but also in the risk and associated cost of displacement, as well as in the value of the non-monetary utility component. I calibrate the model for men and perform a number of counterfactual experiments for women. Quantitative results suggest that differences in displacement probabilities, together with differences in re-employment probabilities, and in human capital penalty rates at displacement explain up to 15% of the gender occupational segregation, and up to 10% of the gender industry segregation. Allowing women to also have an extra preference for non-employment explains in a proportion of 60% why women avoid high risk occupations, that is occupations with higher displacement risk, higher earnings growth and higher human capital depreciation (or alternatively, lower human capital transferability).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31730
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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