Young Women Outcompeting Young Men? A Cohort Comparison of Gender Differences at Labor Market Entry in West Germany

Sandra Buchholz, Jan Skopek and Hans-Peter Blossfeld


Using longitudinal data from the National Educational Panel Study, this chapter examines the development of gender differences in education and at labor market entry in West Germany. Results show that women in younger cohorts have indeed surpassed men in terms of the educational level held at the time of labor market entry. However, women have not been able to translate their educational success into success on the labor market. Women are actually disadvantaged on the labor market because they face higher risks of working in what is only an unskilled job. A further female disadvantage emerges for holding jobs that involve leadership and executive tasks. Men’s chances of holding such positions at labor market entry are significantly higher. All in all, our results thus suggest that West German women have not been able to outcompete men at labor market entry despite their remarkable educational success over the course of the educational expansion.

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.