Gender Differences at Labor Market Entry: The Effect of Changing Educational Pathways and Institutional Structures

Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Sandra Buchholz, Johanna Dämmrich,
Elina Kilpi-Jakonen, Yuliya Kosyakova, Jan Skopek,
 Moris Triventi and Daniela Vono de Vilhena


This chapter provides the theoretical framework for a cross-national comparative project on gender differences and inequalities at labor market entry. Women’s relative gains in educational attainment and the expansion of the service sector would suggest that gender inequalities in occupational returns are diminishing or even reversing. By assessing gender differences at labor market entry, we are able to look at a phase of the life course in which women’s family roles are still of minor importance. Distinguishing between horizontal segregation and inequalities in vertical outcomes, we discuss theoretical perspectives on gender differences in the first job. In addition, we include a discussion on how institutional features on the country level may contribute to a gender gap at labor market entry. Finally, we outline the analytical strategy for an international comparison based on 13 in-depth quantitatively oriented case studies contributed by a network of scholars contributing analyses of countries with different institutional, socioeconomic, and cultural settings.

In: Blossfeld, H.-P.,  S., Skopek, Triventi, M., and Buchholz (Eds), Gender, Education, and Employment: An International Comparison of School-To-Work Transitions, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.