NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Gender Based Occupational Segregation and Sex Differences in Sensory, Motor and Spatial Aptitudes

Michael Baker, Kirsten Cornelson

NBER Working Paper No. 22248
Issued in May 2016, Revised in February 2018
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Research on sex differences in humans documents gender differences in sensory, motor and spatial aptitudes. These aptitudes, as captured by Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) codes, predict the occupational choices of men and women in the directions indicated by this research. We simulate that eliminating selection on these skills reduces the Duncan index of gender based occupational segregation by 20-23 percent in 1970 and 2012. Eliminating selection on DOT variables capturing other accounts of this segregation has a smaller impact.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22248

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