Top Down or Bottom Up? A Cross-National Study of Vertical Occupational Sex Segregation in Twelve European Countries

51 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2012

See all articles by Andrea Schäfer

Andrea Schäfer

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Ingrid Tucci

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel

Karin Gottschall

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

Starting with a comparative assessment of different welfare regimes and political economies from the perspective of gender awareness and "pro-women" policies, this paper identifies the determinants of cross-national variation in women's chances of being in a high-status occupation in twelve West European countries. Special emphasis is given to size and structure of the service sector, including share of women in public employment and structural factors such as trade union density and employment protection. The first level of comparison between men and women concentrates on gender representation in the higher echelons of the job hierarchy, while in the second section we extend the scope of analysis, comparing women in high-status occupations and low-wage employment in order to allow for a more nuanced study of gender and class interaction. The first analysis is based on European Social Survey data for the years 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008, capturing recent trends in occupational dynamics. Results indicate that in general a large service sector and a high trade union density enhance women's chances of being in high-status occupations while more specifically a large public sector helps to reduce channeling women into low-wage employment. Thus, equality at the top can well be paired with inequality at the bottom, as postindustrial countries with a highly polarized occupational hierarchy such as the UK show.

Keywords: occupational sex segregation, gender equality, public sector employment, cross-national comparison

JEL Classification: P5, D6, J2

Suggested Citation

Schäfer, Andrea and Tucci, Ingrid and Gottschall, Karin, Top Down or Bottom Up? A Cross-National Study of Vertical Occupational Sex Segregation in Twelve European Countries (January 1, 2012). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1183, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2006489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2006489

Andrea Schäfer

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Ingrid Tucci (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel ( email )

DIW Berlin
Berlin, Berlin 14191
Germany

Karin Gottschall

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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