University of Nebraska Study Finds that Women Do Better in Jobs in Blue States Than They Do in Red States

A new study by two women economists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln finds that women in Democratic-leaning “blue states”are more likely to break the glass ceiling and move into high-salary, high-education jobs in male-dominated fields than women in Republic-leaning “red states.”

Dr. May

Using data from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ann Mari May and Mary McGarvey examined women’s representation in 56 male-dominated, high-education occupations. The economists examined science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, jobs as well as non-STEM jobs.

Dr. McGarvey

They found that in red states, the concentration of women in top jobs is 43 percent of the share of men in the jobs, while in blue states, it is 47 percent. Women’s share of top non-STEM jobs in red states is 42 percent of men’s share and 52 percent of men’s share in blue states. The authors found the disparities between red and blue states persisted even after controlling for other demographic and economic factors, such as state employment rates, median age, immigration and mobility patterns and population density.

“The study reveals there are indeed significant differences in labor market outcomes for women that can’t be explained by other factors,” said Professor May.

Professor May holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in economics, and a Ph.D. in economics, all from Colorado State University.

Dr. McGarvey is a graduate of Towson State University in Maryland. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

The study, “Gender, Occupational Segregation, and the Cultural Divide: Are Red States Different than Blue States?” was published in The Review of Regional Studies. It may be downloaded here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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