You are here

The End of Men and Rise of Women in the High-Skilled Labor Market

September 2016

Guido Matias Cortes, Nir Jaimovich, Henry Siu


In this article analyzing changes in the high skilled labor market between men and women, the authors explore possibilities behind what’s driving the change. By measuring variations in employment outcomes among men, outcomes for women, and the ratios of labor supply between men and women since the 1980s, they discover that the likelihood of a college-educated woman being employed in a “good job” is much higher than for a college-educated man. Through modeling occupational data over this period the authors find that driving this change is a higher demand for “female” skills (or social skills) in high wage employment.

Read Now

Policy Implications

The crowding out of males in high wage positions can contribute to overall declines in labor force participation among working-age males. College-educated men unable to find work suitable to their level of education may simply drop out of the labor force altogether, therefore driving down participation in the labor market. They may also seek out lower-skilled jobs instead, leading to a similar crowding-out effect for low-skilled male workers. As more individuals leave the labor market, it is also possible that a subsequent increase in disability assistance or other governmental assistance programs may occur.

Find Similar Labor & Employment Research