Do personality traits and social norms impact the gender pay gap?

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Despite increasing female employment and narrowing gender gaps in career prospects, the gender pay gap persists. An analysis in the Journal of Economic Surveys which included 39 relevant studies examined how personality traits and social norms can affect this problem.

The analysis revealed that personality traits (such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, or loss of control) and social norms (such as gender role attitudes, work-family policies, and childcare ) are individually and jointly important for analyzing the wage gap. They explain from a few to a considerable number of percent of the gender pay gap. However, different aspects of the studies analyzed (such as the use of different definitions and methods) make it difficult to determine their precise contributions.

“Gender inequality is a public concern, which is also reflected in the gender pay gap. Our article focuses on two determinants of the gap that are less understood but can have important implications,” said said corresponding author Claudia Röthlisberger, who holds a doctorate. Researcher at Maastricht University, Netherlands. “We wanted to shed more light on the extent to which personality and expectations about the roles of women and men in society can explain the gap or are a source of discrimination.”

Can gendered personality traits explain who initiates salary negotiations?

More information:
Claudia Roethlisberger et al, The Contribution of Personality Traits and Social Norms to the Gender Pay Gap: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Journal of Economic Surveys (2022). DOI: 10.1111/joes.12501

Quote: Do Personality Traits and Social Norms Impact the Gender Pay Gap? (2022, April 20) retrieved May 26, 2022 from

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