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Strain, Michael R.
Webber, Douglas A.
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 9277
Using within-high-school variation and controlling for a measure of cognitive ability, this paper finds that high-school leadership experiences explain a significant portion of the residual gender wage gap and selection into management occupations. Our results imply that high-school leadership could build non-cognitive, productive skills that are rewarded years later in the labor market and that explain a portion of the systematic difference in pay between men and women. Alternatively, high-school leadership could be a proxy variable for personality characteristics that differ between men and women and that drive higher pay and becoming a manager. Because high school leadership experiences are exogenous to direct labor market experiences, our results leave less room for direct labor market discrimination as a driver of the gender wage gap and occupation selection.
gender wage gap
noncognitive skills
occupational choice
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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