WORK-RELATED ATTITUDES AND THE EARNINGS ATTAINMENT PROCESS OF WOMEN AND MEN

JOSEPH JOHN SALVO, Fordham University

Abstract

Although sociological research on the status attainment process has traditionally stressed the relevance of attitudes, such variables have been neglected in recent studies aimed at comparing the earnings attainment process of men and women. Social Scientists suggest that the substantial shifts which occurred over the past few decades in sex-role norms have made earnings attainment, on an individual level, more sensitive to differences in attitudes related to work. This hypothesis is reinforced by economists who have for many years portrayed earnings attainment as a function of human capital investment, which is at least in part determined by preferences and expectations related to work.^ The present study examines the relationship between work-related attitudes, investments in human capital, occupational achievement and earnings attainment among comparable samples of white men and women. Panel data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience are used to construct and test a revised model of earnings attainment which includes two attitudinal variables, namely attitudes toward the employment of women and occupational aspirations, along with multiple measures of human capital investment.^ The results of this study clearly indicate that attitudes have significant effects on earnings attainment, both indirectly via investment for both sexes, and directly on earnings for women. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to attitudinal factors in earnings models. This is especially true given the fact that attitudes display effects which are significantly different by sex, and in some instances inject the only shades of difference in an otherwise similiar picture.^

Subject Area

Demography

Recommended Citation

SALVO, JOSEPH JOHN, "WORK-RELATED ATTITUDES AND THE EARNINGS ATTAINMENT PROCESS OF WOMEN AND MEN" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213255.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213255

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