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The goal of my research is to understand the emergence of social inequality in a society. I am particularly interested in examining the mechanisms underlying individuals' preferences and decisions, as well as how individuals' decision-making is influenced by institutional structures. To achieve this goal, I use not only an interdisciplinary approach that combines theories and insights from sociology, psychology, and economics, but also apply a wide range of methods such as analyzing surveys, conducting experiments, and qualitative in-depth interviews. While I studied issues of social mobility and educational inequality in my doctoral studies, I nowadays focus on questions of gender inequality in the labor market (e.g., horizontal and vertical gender segregation, gender wage gap, discrimination in hiring).



  • Why women choose 'female' professions. Analysing mechanisms behind horizontal sex segregation with survey experiments.

  • The influence of personality traits and job preferences on the gender pay gap in the early career. (with Barbara Zimmermann, University of Bern)

  • The role of recruiter and firm characteristics on gender discrimination in candidate selection for male- and female-dominated occupations. (with Basha Vicari and Britta Matthes, IAB Nürnberg)

  • Unobserved effects in teacher's decisions - anticipation of parental support? An experimental analysis. (with Ulf Liebe, University of Warwick)




  • Combet, Benita (conditionally accepted): Women's aversion to majors that (seemingly) require systemizing skills causes gendered field of study choice.
    European Sociological Review.


  • Combet, Benita; Oesch, Daniel (2021): The social-origin gap in university graduation by gender and immigrant status. A cohort analysis for Switzerland.
    Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 12(2): 119–146. (equal contribution) (Article, Working Paper
    , Stata scripts and output)

  • Jakob, Martina; Combet, Benita (2020): Educational aspirations and decision-making in a context of poverty. A test of rational choice models in El Salvador.
    Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 69, 100545.
    (equal contribution) (Article, Working Paper, Stata scripts and output)


  • Combet, Benita (2019): The institutional dimension of class-based educational decision-making: Evidence from regional variation in Switzerland.
    Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 48(4): 301–320. (Article, Working Paper, Appendix, Stata scripts and output)

  • Combet, Benita; Oesch, Daniel (2019): The gender wage gap opens long before motherhood. Panel evidence on early careers in Switzerland.
    European Sociological Review, 35(3): 332-345. (equal contribution) (Article, Working Paper, Appendix, Stata scripts and output)
    Runner-up for the ESR Best Article Prize 2020

  • Berger, Joël; Combet, Benita (2017): Late School Tracking, Less Class Bias in Educational Decision-Making? The Uncertainty Reduction Mechanism and Its Experimental Test. European Sociological Review, 33(1): 124-136. (equal contribution) (Article, Working Paper)
    won the Best Student Paper Award by ISA RC 45, 2016 edition

  • Combet, Benita (2013): Zum Einfuss von primären und sekundären Effekten der sozialen Herkunft beim zweiten schulischen Übergang in der Schweiz.
    Ein Vergleich unterschiedlicher Dekompositions- und Operationalisierungsmethoden.
    Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Bildungswissenschaften, 35(3): 447-471. (Article, Abstract in English)


  • Jann, Ben; Combet, Benita (2012): Zur Entwicklung der intergenerationalen Mobilität in der Schweiz.
    Swiss Journal of Sociology, 38(2): 177-199. (Article, Abstract in English)

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