Prevalence of Long Hours and Skilled Women's Occupational Choices

56 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2016

See all articles by Patricia Cortes

Patricia Cortes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Jessica Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Abstract

Gender differences in occupations account for a sizable portion of the persistent gender pay gap. This paper examines the relationship between the demand for long hours of work (as proxied for by the share of men working 50 or more hours per week) and skilled women's occupational choice. Exploiting variation across 215 occupations and four decades in the US, we find that the prevalence of overwork in an occupation significantly lowers the share of college educated young married women with children working in that occupation. These findings are robust to controlling for the occupational distribution of similarly aged males and married women with no children, suggesting that the prevalence of overwork reduces the desirability of the work environment for women with family responsibilities and is not merely proxying for other demand side shocks. Similar results are obtained using a panel of European countries.

Keywords: long hours, overwork, occupational choice, gender

JEL Classification: J16, J24, J22

Suggested Citation

Cortes, Patricia and Pan, Jessica, Prevalence of Long Hours and Skilled Women's Occupational Choices. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10225, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846316

Patricia Cortes (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Jessica Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

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