Gender, Aspirations, and the Labor Market
Establishing gender equality has been one of the most important global objectives in recent times. A large part of the gender pay gap, for instance, can be attributed to differences in the choices made – such as occupational and educational. However, many of these choices have a root that is less well-understood. To understand this process, it is crucial to understand the role of aspiration in driving the choices made by individuals before entering the labor market or early in their career.
A central objective of project ASPIRE is to open, and develop, a new line of research into the formation, and role, of aspirations in understanding gender differences in labor market outcomes. I will advance this research in three steps: i) combine innovative methodology and rich data sources to explore the relationship (and distance) between what individuals aspire towards and what they actually achieve, as well as to analyze the choices they make in the process. ii) Exploit important historical political and institutional changes to analyze the role of society in shaping aspirations. iii) Through a series of small and large-scale economic experiments, to advance our understanding of how aspirations are shaped and if they can be altered.
I will, first, study how aspirations affect wages and promotions within the firm using detailed data on aspirations, expectations and other factors, such as, discrimination and professional opportunities. I will then study early aspiration formation among adolescents and young adults, where there is no contemporaneous influence of current work conditions. Next I will look at how aspirations are influenced by society by analyzing the effect important shifts in political regimes on gender culture, and its consequences (on individuals’ beliefs and aspirations, as well as labor market outcomes). Finally, I will design experiments that elicit aspirations. For this, it is imperative to study the influence of expectations, contemporaneous conditions, peer composition and the role of feedback on aspiration formation.
Département d'économie (Laboratoire public)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
Help of the ANR 91,800 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2018 - 24 Months