The Effects of Gender Segregation, Labor Force Participation, and Family Roles on the Earnings of Young Adult Workers
This analysis takes a life-course approach to the study of gender inequality in earnings among young adults. The authors construct hypotheses that assess the effects of family role accumulation, earnings atrophy and occupational choice, occupational segregation, and statistical discrimination. The authors find considerable support for the hypothesis that the effects of current labor force attachment, work experience, and occupational segregation are conditioned by family roles. The negative effects of women's representation within occupations are confined to married parents, although the results for women are consistent with social closure explanations, whereas the results for men are more consistent with status composition explanations of the effects of gender segregation. This analysis also reveals interesting differences in the effects of current and prior labor force attachment that are conditioned by gender and life-course group. The results point to the need for more research that studies the relationship between labor force activity, occupational segregation, and family roles.