Is gender inequality greater at lower or higher educational levels? Common patterns in the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States

Marie Evertsson, Paula England, Irma Mooi-Reci, Joan Hermsen, Jeanne De Bruijn, David Cotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We compare how gender inequality varies by educational level in the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States, representing three different welfare regimes: the conservative, the social democratic, and the liberal. With few exceptions, gender inequality in labor force participation, work hours, occupational segregation, and housework are less severe as education goes up in all three countries, with the root cause being the high employment levels of well-educated women. Despite a common pattern across nations, we note that the educational gradient on gender equality in employment is weaker in Sweden. De-familialization policies in Sweden no doubt increase gender equality at the bottom by pulling less-educated women into the work force. One form of gender equality, wages, however, does not increase with education. In the United States, educational differences in the gender gap in wages are trivial; in Sweden and the Netherlands, the gender wage gap is greatest for the highly educated because of higher returns to education for men than women in these nations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-241
Number of pages32
JournalSocial Politics
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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