Gender, parenthood, and hiring intentions in sex-typical jobs: Insights from a survey experiment

Gabriele Mari*, Ruud Luijkx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We ran a survey experiment with Dutch employers to investigate hiring discrimination in sex-typical jobs. We ask if women are especially discriminated against when they have children, whether discrimination applies similarly in different occupations, and whether statistical discrimination or status-characteristic theories best account for discriminatory practices (if any). Employers rate fictitious candidates for either a female-typical job (primary-school teacher) or a male-typical job (software engineer). Employers are found to display a slight preference for female candidates when filling a teacher post, although such bias is less strong for female applicants with children. No such ranking is found for a software engineer vacancy, nor do we find different salary offers across candidates and across vacancies. Employers do not appear to favour men over women for positions likely to be on the career track, as predicted by statistical discrimination theories, nor do they expect women to be less capable than men, as posited by status-characteristic theory. Female candidates with children, however, are expected to be less committed to their job and work fewer hours, especially in the teacher experiment. Such expectations seem to have small consequences for the hiring decisions and salary offers Dutch employers make in our study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100464
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • DISCRIMINATION
  • EMPLOYERS
  • FAMILY GAP
  • FIELD EXPERIMENT
  • Gender
  • Hiring
  • LABOR-MARKET
  • MOTHERHOOD
  • Parenthood
  • SEGREGATION
  • STATISTICAL-THEORIES
  • Statistical discrimination
  • Status-characteristic theory
  • Survey experiment
  • WAGE PENALTY
  • WORKING HOURS

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