NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Gender Differences in Departure from a Large Firm

Nachum Sicherman

NBER Working Paper No. 4279 (Also Reprint No. r2059)
Issued in June 1996
NBER Program(s):   LS

Looking at the personnel records of workers in a large company, where detailed reasons for worker departure are recorded, I find striking differences in the exit patterns between men and women. As is well known, a higher proportion of women leave for a variety of non-market reasons. Further, women state more often that wages, and not opportunities, as a reason for switching jobs. Women, on average, are more likely to leave the firm. This is specially true in periods of early tenure. For both men and women, the likelihood of departure increases in the first two months of tenure, and then declines at a decreasing rate. This decline is stronger for women. Using a proportional hazard model, with controls for observed characteristics, I find that tenure beyond five years, women are less likely to leave the firm than men. Tenure turnover profiles are computed for the different reasons of departure. This detailed breakdown provides additional insights into gender differences in quit behavior.

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Published: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 484-505, (April 1996).

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