Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2007:28: The gender gap in workplace authority in Sweden 1968-2000 – a family affair?

Magnus Bygren () and Michael Gähler ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Bygren: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University
Michael Gähler: The Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University

Abstract: We assess whether the gender gap in authority in Sweden has changed during the period 1968–2000, and investigate to what extent family factors are responsible for this gap. We find that the gap has narrowed modestly during this period, and identify the life-event of parenthood as a major cause of the gap. When men become fathers, they gain authority; when women become mothers, they do not. Our fixed effects panel estimates of the effects of family factors deviate from the cross-sectional estimates, suggesting that unobserved individual heterogeneity – routinely neglected in this line of research – matters.

Keywords: Workplace authority; gender gap; work-family balance; Sweden

JEL-codes: J12; J13; J16

35 pages, October 30, 2007

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