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Family Formation and Men’s and Women’s Attainment of Workplace Authority

M. Bygren, M. Gähler 2012

2012. Social Forces, 90:795-816.

Abstract

Using Swedish panel data, we assess whether the gender gap in supervisory authority has changed during the period 1968–2000, and investigate to what extent the gap can be attributed to gender-specific consequences of family formation. The results indicate that the gap has narrowed modestly during the period, and that the life-event of parenthood is a major cause of the gap. As long as women and men are childless and single, the gender gap in supervisory authority is marginal, even reversed. When men become fathers, however, they strongly increase their chance for supervisory authority whereas women’s chances remain unaffected when they become mothers. We also find a male “marriage premium” on workplace authority, but this premium is generated by selection.

2012. Social Forces, 90:795-816.

Abstract

Using Swedish panel data, we assess whether the gender gap in supervisory authority has changed during the period 1968–2000, and investigate to what extent the gap can be attributed to gender-specific consequences of family formation. The results indicate that the gap has narrowed modestly during the period, and that the life-event of parenthood is a major cause of the gap. As long as women and men are childless and single, the gender gap in supervisory authority is marginal, even reversed. When men become fathers, however, they strongly increase their chance for supervisory authority whereas women’s chances remain unaffected when they become mothers. We also find a male “marriage premium” on workplace authority, but this premium is generated by selection.