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The Gender Gap in Meaningful Work
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden; Nottingham University, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3733-7606
Number of Authors: 42023 (English)In: Management science, ISSN 0025-1909, E-ISSN 1526-5501Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

An understanding of differences in nonmonetary work conditions is fundamental for a complete characterization of individuals’ well-being at work. Thus, to fully characterize gender inequalities in the labor market, scholars have begun to explore gender differences in nonmonetary work conditions. We examine one such condition—meaningful work—using nationally representative survey data linked with worker and employer administrative data. We document a large and expanding gender gap in meaningful work, wherein women experience their jobs as more meaningful than men do. We then explore patterns underlying this difference. We find little correlation between women’s higher experience of meaningful work and either labor market decisions related to first parenthood or women’s underrepresentation in leadership jobs. Instead, the gender gap appears to be highly correlated with the sorting of more women into occupations with a high level of beneficence: the sense of having a prosocial impact. Though both women and men experience such jobs as more meaningful, women do so by a larger margin. Next, we consider the relationship between the gender difference in meaningful work and the gender wage gap, contributing to the discussion on compensating differentials in work amenities. We find that, whereas the gender gap in meaningful work closes a substantial part of the wage gap in lower paid jobs, it does little to close the gap in higher paid jobs in which the gender wage gap is largest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023.
Keywords [en]
meaningful work, nonmonetary work conditions, occupational segregation, work conditions, gender
National Category
Gender Studies Work Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-224604DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2022.01807ISI: 001118549500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-224604DiVA, id: diva2:1822035
Available from: 2023-12-21 Created: 2023-12-21 Last updated: 2023-12-21

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Rickne, Johanna

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