Note: Starred readings are compulsory and must be made prior to the class. The allocation of compulsory readings might be subjected to changes.


Legend:  E=Evidence for discussion; D= Student-run discussion of compulsory readings; PP= student paper/project presentations.


Session 1: Intro, organisation & overview on gender inequality (E)

Goldin, Claudia. 2006. “The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family”. American Economic Review 96: 1-21.

Mandel, Hadas, and Moshe Semyonov. 2006. “A Welfare State Paradox: State Interventions and Women’s Employment Opportunities in 22 Countries”. American Journal of Sociology 111:1910-1949.


Session 2: The motherhood penalty (E, D)

*Bedi, Arjun, Tanmoy Majilla, and Matthias Rieger. 2018. “Gender Norms and the Motherhood Penalty: Experimental Evidence from India” IZA DP No. 11360

Budig, Michelle J., and Paula England. 2001. “The Wage Penalty for Motherhood”. American Sociological Review, 66: 204-225.

*Correll, Shelley J., Stephen Benard, and In Paik. 2007. “Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty?” American Journal of Sociology 112: 1297-1338.

England, Paula. 2005. “Gender Inequality in Labor Markets: The Role of Motherhood and Segregation”. Social Politics 12: 264-288.Budig, Michelle J., and Paula England. 2001. “The Wage Penalty for Motherhood”. American Sociological Review, 66: 204-225.

*Gangl, Markus, and Andrea Ziefle. 2009. “Motherhood, labor force behavior and women’s careers: An empirical assessment of the wage penalty for motherhood in Britain, Germany and the United States.” Demography, 46: 341-369.


Session 3: Gender-role socialization and social-learning (D + 1 project presentation)

*Alesina A, Giuliano P, Nunn N. 2013. “On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough”. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128 (2) : 469-530.

*Correll, Shelley J. 2001. “Gender and the career choice process: the role of biased selfassessments.” American Journal of Sociology 106 (6): 1691-1730.

Fielding, David. 2015. “Cancer and the Plow”. Social Forces, 93(3): 863–880,

Platt, L. and Polavieja, J. 2016. "Saying and Doing Gender: The Intergenerational Transmission of Attitudes towards the Sexual Division of Labour”. European Sociological Review, 32(6): 820-834.

Polavieja, J.G. 2012. “Socially-Embedded Investments: Explaining Gender Differences in Job-Specific Skills” American Journal of Sociology, 118(3): 592-634.

*Polavieja, J.G. and Platt. L. 2014. “Nurse or Mechanic? Explaining Sex-Typed Occupational Aspirations amongst Young Children”. Social Forces, 93(1): 31-61.

van Putten, Anne, Perl A. Dykstra, and Joop J. Schippers. 2008. “Just Like Mom? The Intergenerational Reproduction of Women’s Paid Work.” European Sociological Review 24(4):435–49.


Recommended viewing Television’s Impact on the Status of Women in India










Emily Oster, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Department of Economics, talks about her research on the impact of television on women in rural India. 10m


Session 4: Sex-differences in traits? (D)

*Drydakis, Nick, Katerina Sidiropoulou, Vasiliki Bozani, Sandra Selmanovic, Swetketu Patnaik, (2018) "Masculine vs feminine personality traits and women’s employment outcomes in Britain: A field experiment", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 Issue: 4, pp.621-630,

*Gneezy et al. 2009.”Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society”, Econometrica, 77(5):1637-1664

*Sapienza, Zingales, L. and Maestripieric, D. 2009. “Gender differences in financial risk aversion and career choices are affected by testosterone”. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106(36): 15268–15273.

Lueptow, L.B., Garovitch-Szabo, L., Lueptow, M.B. 2001. “Social change and the persistence of sex-typing: 1974–1997.” Social Forces.80:1–36.


Session 5: Sociobiological explanations and debate (D)

Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2001. “De Gustibus Est Disputandum.” Social Forces 79:1131–62.

*Udry, R. 2000. “Biological Limits of Gender Construction.” American Sociological Review 65:443-57.

*Miller Eleanor, M. and Carrie Yang Costello. 2001. “The Limits of Biological Determinism”. American Sociological Review, 66(4): 592-598.

*Kennelly, Ivy Sabine N. Merz, Judith Lorber. 2001. “What Is Gender?”. American Sociological Review, 66(4): 598-605.

*Risman, Barbara J. 2001. “Calling the Bluff of Value-Free Science”. American Sociological Review, 66(4): 605-611.

*Richard Udry. 2001. “Feminist Critics Uncover Determinism, Positivism, and Antiquated Theory”. American Sociological Review, 66(4):611-618


Session 6: Investigating Discrimination (I)

*Baldassarri, Delia and María Abascal. 2017. “Field Experiments across the Social Sciences”. Annual Review of Sociology, 43:41–73

*Fiske, S.T. (1998). “Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination” In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske and G. Lindzey

Goldin, Claudia, and Cecilia Rouse. 2000. “Orchestrating impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians”. American Economic Review 90: 715-741.

Pager, Devah. 2007. “The Use of Field Experiments for Studies of Employment Discrimination: Contributions, Critiques, and Directions for the Future”. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 609 (Janurary):104-133.

Petersen, Trond, and Ishak Saporta. 2004. “The Opportunity Structure for Discrimination”. American Journal of Sociology, 109: 852-901.

*Phelps ES. 1972. “The statistical theory of racism and sexism”. American Economic Review, 62(4): 659–61.


Session 7: Investigating Discrimination (II)

*Bertrand, Marianne and Sendhil Mullainathan. 2004. “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination”. American Economic Review 94: 991-1013.

*Farkas, George, and Keven Vicknair. 1996. "Appropriate Tests of Racial Wage Discrimination Require Controls for Cognitive Skills." American Sociological Review 61:557-660.

*Pager, Devah. 2003. “The Mark of a Criminal Record”. American Journal of Sociology 108:937-75.

Pager, Devah and Shepherd, Hana. 2008. “The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets.” Annual Review of Sociology, 34:1-524.

Zschirnt, Eva and Ruedin, D. 2016. “Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring Decisions: A Meta-Analysis of Correspondence Tests 1990-2015”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(7): 1115-1134

Session 8: Race and Ethnicity

*Bonilla-Silva, E. 1997. "Rethinking Racism: Towards a Structural Interpretation". American Sociological Review, 62(3):465-480.

Bonilla-Silva, E. 1999. “The Essential Social Fact of Race”. American Sociological Review, 64(6): 899-906.

*Loveman, Mara. 1999. “Is "Race" Essential?” American Sociological Review, 64(6): 891-898.

*Wimmer, A. 2013. Ethnic Boundary Making: Institutions Power, Networks. Princeton University Press

*Winant, H. 2017.“Is Racism Global?“. Journal of World-Systems Research, 23(2): 505-510.


See also statement on "race" of the American Anthropological Associaction:


Session 9: Race & Status

*Freeman, Jonathan B. Andrew M. Penner, Aliya Saperstein, Matthias Scheutz, Nalini Ambady. Looking the Part: Social Status Cues Shape Race Perception. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (9): e25107 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025107

*Monk, E. (2014). “Skin Tone Stratification among Black Americans, 2001–2003”. Social Forces, 92(4):1313–1337.

*Williams, Keelah E. G., Oliver Sng, and Steven L. Neuberg. 2016. “Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes” PNAS, 113(2): 310–315.


Session 10: The role of culture & cultural assimilation (I)

Alba, R., & Nee, V. 1997. “Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration”. International Migration Review, 31(4), 849–865.

*Dinesen, Peter T. 2013. “Where You Come From or Where You Live? Examining the Cultural and Institutional Explanation of Generalized Trust Using Migration as a Natural Experiment.” European Sociological Review 29(1):114–28.

Finseraas, H., Kotsadam, A. and Polavieja, J.G. 2020. “Ancestry Culture, Assimilation, and Voter Turnout in Two Generations”. Typescript.

*Platt, Lucinda. 2014. “Is there assimilation in minority groups' national, ethnic and religious identity?”. Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37: 46-70.

*Wimmer, A. And Soehl, T. (2014). “Blocked Acculturation: Cultural Heterodoxy among Europe’s immigrants”. American Journal of Sociology, 120(1):146-186.


Session 11: The role of culture & cultural assimilation (II)

Fernández, R. 2011. “Does Culture Matter?” In Handbook of Social Economics, edited by J. Benhabib, M. O. Jackson, and A. Bisin, 481–510. Amsterdam: NorthHolland.

*He, Qian, Gerber, Theodore P. 2019. “Origin-Country Culture, Migration Sequencing, and Female Employment: Variations among Immigrant Women in the United States”. International Migration Review: 1-29.

*Finseraas, H., and A. Kotsadam. 2017. “Ancestry Culture and Female Employment – An Analysis Using Second Generation Siblings.” European Sociological Review 33(3):382–92

*Polavieja, J. G. 2015. “2015. “Capturing Culture: A New Method to Estimate Exogenous Cultural Effects using Migrant Populations”. American Sociological Review, 80(1): 166-191

A 2m clip on Polavieja (ASR 2015) (in Spanish)

Session 12: Beauty and the labour market

*Hakim, C. 2010. “Erotic Capital”. European Sociological Review,26(5):499–518.

*Hamermesh, Daniel S., and Jeff E. Biddle 1994. “Beauty and the Labor Market”. American Economic Review 84: 1174-1194.

Liu, Xing and Sierminska, Eva. 2014. “Evaluating the Effect of Beauty on Labor Market Outcomes: A Review of the Literature.” IZA DP No. 8526 ( (See also

*Bozoyan, C. and Wolbring, T. 2018. “The Weight Wage Penalty: A Mechanism Approach to Discrimination”. European Sociological Review, 34(3):254-267.

See also: The Economist 2011. “The economics of good looks: The line of beauty”

Recommended viewing The economic effects of beauty