Gender differences in job autonomy in Sweden and the United States

University essay from Umeå universitet/Sociologiska institutionen

Author: Kreske Ecker; [2015]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This paper examines gender differences in job autonomy in the United States and Sweden. It analyzes data from the 2005 Work Orientations III module of the International Social Survey Program, using multiple linear regression analysis. Women‟s concentration in the public sector, as a form of occupational segregation, as well as gender differences in unionization are assessed as possible explanations. Since these two factors vary greatly between the US and Sweden, these two cases are used to test the suitability of the explanatory approaches. While there are no gender differences in job autonomy in the US, Swedish women experience significantly lower job autonomy than Swedish men. These gender differences are primarily due to the fact that women in Sweden are concentrated in public sector employment, which offers lower autonomy. This supports occupational segregation as an explanation for gender differences in job autonomy. Meanwhile, the hypothesis that women‟s higher degree of unionization in Sweden would lead to a smaller gender gap in autonomy does not receive support from the data.

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