Book Review: Gender, Education and Employment: An International Comparison of School-to-Work Transitions by Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Jan Skopek, Moris Triventi, & Sandra Buchholz.

Author:Soni, Jaya
Position:Book review

Blossfeld, Hans-Peter, Jan Skopek, Moris Triventi, and Sandra Buchholz, eds. Gender, Education and Employment: An International Comparison of School-to-Work Transitions. Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2015. xx + 394 pages. Hardcover, $150.00.

The restructuring of labor markets in post-industrial societies has facilitated increased educational opportunities for girls and women. However, despite such gains, inequality continues to exist among employment outcomes for females versus males. Utilizing a comparative approach to analyze gender differences globally, Gender, Education and Employment: An International Comparison of School-to-Work Transitions focuses upon the specific point of labor market entry for identifying where inequality gaps persist.

Sociologists Blossfeld, Skopek, Triventi, and Buchholz have curated the collection from twenty-six contributors with expertise across a variety of social science disciplines including sociology, political science, and economics. The work encompasses two comparative studies of aggregated data from Europe, and thirteen case studies for the following individual countries, grouped by similarity or 'regime': Liberal (United States, Britain, Australia), Mediterranean European (Spain, Italy), Social-Democratic (Sweden, Denmark), Conservative (West Germany, France, Switzerland), and Post-Socialist (Estonia, Russia, Hungary). A set of four research questions, concerning the concepts of vertical inequality (job rewards and positions) and horizontal difference (gender concentrations in labor market segments and occupations), weave together the compilation: (1) Do both vertical inequality and horizontal difference exist at labor market entry?, (2) How do horizontal gender difference and vertical inequalities evolve over time?, (3) Do educational pathways impact horizontal difference and vertical inequality at labor market entry?, and (4) Does horizontal difference impact vertical inequality?

The comparative research studies utilize data from the European Community Household Panel and the European Labor Force Survey. One interesting analysis concerns the dynamics and impact of underemployment and inactivity among men and women. Among their many findings, the research shows that, although women are not more likely to enter inactivity than men, it is more difficult for women to return from inactivity to employment than men.

The thirteen case studies presented by country provide a wealth of data and research stemming...

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