Gender, Education and Employment: Lessons Learned from the Comparative Perspective

Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Jan Skopek, Yuliya Kosyakova, Moris
Triventi and Sandra Buchholz


This chapter provides an overview of the results from the 13 in-depth country-specific case studies analyzing gender differences and inequalities at labor market entry. Women’s relative gains in educational attainment and the expansion of the service sector 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. Conceptually, we distinguish between horizontal segregation and inequalities in vertical outcomes. The findings demonstrate that occupational gender segregation is still relatively marked among recent cohorts, although several countries reveal a slight decrease over time. In terms of vertical inequalities, the case studies consistently reveal that although women enter more prestigious jobs than men in most countries, there is a female disadvantage in economic returns among recent labor market entrants. In addition, we find mixed evidence on variations in gender inequality at labor market entry across countries with different institutional characteristics.

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.