Marita Jacob, Corinna Kleinert, Michael Kühhirt
Trends in Gender Disparities at the School to Work Transition in Germany : Comparing the Labor Market Entry of Young Men and Women between 1984 and 2005

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Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 127
ISSN: 1437-8574

This paper examines the labor market entry of low- and medium-qualified men and women using rep-resentative longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. By identifying four consecutive entry cohorts, we analyze trends in gender differences with respect to the duration until they find their first job between the years 1984 and 2005, a period marked by a further increase in young women’s educational attainment and continued growth of the service sector. Both developments should benefit women with a lower education more than men in the same group in terms of smooth labor market in-tegration. Results from discrete event history analyses show that today these women indeed find their first job faster than men. However, this is not due to an improvement in young women’s chances to find employment, but to deteriorating employment prospects of men leaving the educational system. Our results indicate (1) that women in general are better equipped for the competition for low- and medium-skilled jobs as they have increased their educational attainment more than men, and (2) that the decline of male-dominated occupations in production has led to increased job competition for men, which prolongs particularly low-skilled men’s transition from school to work.