Staff Reports
Miss-Allocation: The Value of Workplace Gender Composition and Occupational Segregation
Number 1092
March 2024

JEL classification: J16, J24, J71

Authors: Rachel Schuh

I analyze the value workers ascribe to the gender composition of their workplace and the consequences of these valuations for occupational segregation, tipping, and welfare. To elicit these valuations, I survey 9,000 U.S. adults using a hypothetical job choice experiment. This reveals that on average women and men value gender diversity, but these average preferences mask substantial heterogeneity. Older female workers are more likely to value gender homophily. This suggests that gender norms and discrimination, which have declined over time, may help explain some women’s desire for homophily. Using these results, I estimate a structural model of occupation choice to assess the influence of gender composition preferences on gender sorting and welfare. I find that workers’ composition valuations are not large enough to create tipping points, but they do reduce female employment in male-dominated occupations substantially. Reducing segregation could improve welfare: making all occupations evenly gender balanced improves utility as much as a 0.4 percent wage increase for women and a 1 percent wage increase for men, on average.

Full Article
Author Disclosure Statement(s)
Rachel Schuh
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship grant no. DGE-1656518. I also received financial support from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research George P. Shultz Dissertation Fund and the Stanford University Graduate Research Opportunity Fund. Prior to circulation, this paper was reviewed in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York review policy, available at
Suggested Citation:
Schuh, Rachel. 2024. “Miss-Allocation: The Value of Workplace Gender Composition and Occupational Segregation.” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports, no. 1092, March.

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