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Research project

Gender Differences in Early Occupational Choices: Evidence from Medical Specialty Selection

This project has been funded via the EUI Early Stage Researchers (ESR) call 2022.

Empirical evidence shows that men and women hold different types of occupations. It is however difficult to disentangle the channels via which these differences come about because observed equilibrium outcomes arise from preferences of agents on both sides of the market, and from search and matching frictions. This project relies on a unique labour market setting allowing to isolate the supply side factors driving gender-based occupational segregation. We find that female and male medical students facing the same pool of available positions make drastically different occupational decisions.

Women prefer occupations characterised by lower expected earnings and time requirements, less competition, and a higher social contribution. Using individual data containing both revealed and stated preferences for residency positions, we find evidence suggesting that when constrained in their choices, women have a stronger preference for the location in which they are going to live than their male counterparts.

This project is jointly conducted with Agnès Charpin, Department of Applied Economics, Université libre de Bruxelles.

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