Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2021:13: Early Socialization and the Gender Wage Gap

Demid Getik () and Armando N. Meier ()
Additional contact information
Demid Getik: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Armando N. Meier: University of Lausanne, Department of Economics

Abstract: We study the impact of early socialization on gender inequality in the labor market. To this end, we link the gender environment in the primary-school cohort to later occupations and wages. We find that women exposed to more girls at this critical age earn more later on, leading to a reduction in the gender wage gap. We explore mechanisms and find that women exposed to a more female-dominated environment select into less gender-stereotypical occupations with higher wage potential. The gender environment at an early age, therefore, shapes career trajectories and lifetime earnings.

Keywords: Socialization; school environment; peers; occupational sorting; gender wage gap

JEL-codes: D91; I24; I26; J16; J24; J70

55 pages, October 28, 2021

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