Drivers of Occupational Gender Desegregation in Southern European Countries

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Occupational gender segregation is an enduring feature of labour markets across all industrialized countries. We study the relevance of segregation with a particular emphasis on gender and occupation and its impact on gender inequalities in access to employment and wages. We analyse four Southern European countries, i.e., Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, characterized by different labour market institutions even though similar in the features of the welfare state. We find that education plays a role especially for female selection into employment and for highly educated women a reduction of occupational segregation (or desegregation). Nonetheless, household characteristics, as presence of kids still represents barriers preventing (low educated) women full participation to the labour market. The nature of these obstacles is mixed since there are socio, cultural, and institutional factors related to the ambivalent role of the welfare state, burdening women of (almost) all caring activities and duties within the household.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-160
Number of pages34
JournalRivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Segregation
  • Wages
  • Welfare State


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