Essays on gender differences in occupational choices and cohort analysis of saving adequacy

TitleEssays on gender differences in occupational choices and cohort analysis of saving adequacy
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLi, H-H
AdvisorScholz, JKarl
Number of Pages103
Date PublishedJul 2013
UniversityThe University of Wisconsin - Madison
Thesis TypePh.D.
Accession Number1432177424
KeywordsConsumption and Savings, Demographics, Employment and Labor Force, Methodology, Net Worth and Assets

The first chapter analyzes how human capital depreciation affects occupational gender segregation. Prior studies are biased because, given an occupational depreciation rate, female workers endogenously choose the duration of leave. I address this problem by proposing an alternative depreciation measure utilizing involuntary job displacement shocks. Using this depreciation proxy along with additional pecuniary and non-pecuniary occupational attributes, I estimate a conditional logit model of occupational choices separately for male and female college graduates using NLSY79 data. The results show that men and women differ largely in selection on many occupational attributes, however, the gender difference in depreciation is statistically insignificant after accounting for additional variance from the generated depreciation regressor. The second chapter explores the trend of gender differences in selection on occupational mobility. Women who interrupt their career and return to the labor force face the uncertainty of forming a new job match. This uncertainty can be large if the skills they acquired are occupational-specific. I estimate discrete occupational choices by different cohorts using cross-sectional Current Population Survey (CPS) from 1979 to 2008.I find that over the past 30 years, the consideration of occupational mobility has abated in female occupational decisions. In addition, gender gaps in work hours and visual perception also narrow over the past thirty years. Increasing female representation is evident in occupations with high entry barriers, long work hours, and visual intensive tasks. In the third chapter, we extend the dynamic programming approach used in Scholz, Seshadri, and Khitatrakun (2006) to assess the adequacy of retirement wealth preparation in 2008, using a sample of Americans born before 1954. We examine whether these households have accumulated the wealth necessary to maintain pre-retirement living standards in retirement. Our preliminary results suggest that over 70 percent of the households in our sample had accumulated sufficient resources in 2008. The results suggest a less optimistic view about the adequacy of Americans' retirement preparation than the findings for 1992 in Scholz, Seshadri, and Khitatrakun (2006). Economically disadvantaged households are significantly more likely than others to be under-saving and hence are natural targets for outreach and other efforts to improve financial capabilities.


Copyright - Copyright ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing 2013 Last updated - 2013-09-24 First page - n/a

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Short TitleEssays on gender differences in occupational choices and cohort analysis of saving adequacy
Citation Key6408