nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2018‒01‒22
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

  1. Job Search and the Gender Wage Gap By Giorgio Topa; Aysegul Sahin; Andreas Mueller; Jason Faberman
  2. The role of gender in employment polarization By Diniz, Andre; Guimaraes, Bernardo; Petersen Rendall, Michelle
  3. Family, firms and the gender wage gap in France By Elise Coudin; Sophie Maillard; Maxime To
  4. Does Postpartum Depression Affect Employment? By Komodromou, Maria Elena
  5. Money vs. time: family income, maternal labor supply, and child development By Francesco Agostinelli; Giuseppe Sorrenti
  6. Papa Does Preach: Daughters and Polarisation of Attitudes toward Abortion By Van Effenterre, Clémentine
  7. Old-age Labor Force Participation in Germany: What Explains the Trend Reversal among Older Men? And What the Steady Increase among Women? By Axel Börsch-Supan; Irene Ferrari

  1. By: Giorgio Topa (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Aysegul Sahin (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Andreas Mueller (Columbia University); Jason Faberman (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: A recent body of literature argues that at least some part of the gender wage gap may be due to differences in the bargaining and negotiation behavior of men and women. If women are less likely to bargain over wages, they will take home a lower fraction of their match surplus. This would contribute to the gender wage differentials observed in the data. Alternatively, wage differentials could be due to differences in sorting into different types of jobs or firms. A well-established literature finds that a considerable fraction of the gender wage gap is due to the occupational choices of men and women (see, for example, Groshen, 1991; Blau and Kahn, 2000, among others). Song, Price, Guvenen, Bloom, von Watcher (2015) find that pay differences between firms are an important source of earnings inequality. Both lines of research suggest that systematic differences in sorting by gender can lead to a gender wage gap. Recently, Card, Cartoso, Heiningand, and Klein (2013) quantified these two separate channels in the Portuguese data: the first one is the sorting channel—the possibility that women are less likely to work for higher-wage firms. The other is the bargaining channel—the possibility that women are less aggressive in bargaining than men. The sorting channel can work through occupational choice as well. Similarly, bargaining is only one aspect of the search process. More broadly, differences in search behavior between men and women, including differences in bargaining, search effort, and search efficiency, may be a key contributor to the gender wage gap. Both the sorting channel and the job search process are closely linked to a worker’s ability to change jobs. In this paper, we focus on gender differences in the job search and job-finding process. Using a unique new household survey, we study the relationship between job search behavior and outcomes by gender. We document new facts on their differences and quantify their effects on the gender wage gap. We find that a large gap in the wages of men and women exist not only in their current wages, but also in their wages at the time of their hiring and the wages of both recently-offered and recently accepted jobs. Gender differences observable characteristics, including demographics, the occupation of the job in question, and firm characteristics, can account for about half of the wage gap of the current job and about two-thirds of the pay gap of job offers. Accounting the differences in prior work history accounts for much of the remaining gap. An important caveat to these findings is that women pay a somewhat larger penalty than men for receiving or accepting an offer from non-employment, even after controlling for observables and work history. Our evidence on job search behavior suggests why differences in in work history may play an important role. We find that women tend to search more while employed and tend to search more intensely, but that they tend to fare slightly worse than men in generating job offers. A key reason for this difference is that men tend to have stronger informal recruiting channels. They generate more unsolicited offers and are more likely to have an employer contact through a referral. The stronger informal networks among men may reflect stronger ties to the labor market. Both may work together to contribute to the gender wage gap. We find that men are more likely to engage in bargaining than women, but only slightly more so. Overall, our results thus far suggest that gender differences in job search behavior and outcomes affect the gender wage gap through their effects on the work histories of men and women.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Diniz, Andre; Guimaraes, Bernardo; Petersen Rendall, Michelle
    Abstract: We document that employment polarization in the 1980-2008 period in the U.S. is largely generated by women. For the latter, employment shares increase both at the bottom and at the top of the skill distribution, generating the typical U-shape polarization graph, while for men employment shares decrease in a similar fashion along the whole skill distribution. We show that a canonical model of skill-biased technological change augmented with a gender dimension, an endogenous market/home labor choice and a multi-sector environment accounts well for gender and overall employment polarization. The model also accounts for the absence of employment polarization during the 1960-1980 period, which is due to the flat behavior of changes in women’s employment shares along the skill distribution, and can reproduce the different evolution of employment shares across decades during the 1980-2008 period. The faster growth of skill-biased technological change since the 1980s accounts for a substantial part of the employment polarization generated by the model.
    Keywords: Job Polarization; Gender; Skill-biased technological change; Home Production.
    JEL: E20 E21 J16
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Elise Coudin (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Sophie Maillard (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Maxime To (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: In France, in 2014, women’s hourly wages were on average 14.4 % lower than men’s. Beyond differentials in observed characteristics, is this gap explained by segregation of women in low-wage firms, or by gender inequality within a given firm? To answer that question, we apply the approach of Card, Cardoso, and Kline (2016) on French data to disentangle the role of between-firm (sorting) and within-firm heterogeneity (bargaining) on the gender wage gap. We use a two-way fixed effect wage model, in which firm fixed effects differ between male and female employees to account for within-firm gender differences in bargaining power and wage policy. We estimate this model with linked employer-employee data covering French private sector from 1995 to 2014. The sorting effect accounts for almost 11% of the gender wage gap, whereas the bargaining effect is close to zero. This last result could be related to the protective role of the high French minimum wage level. We have access to very rich administrative data that allow us to recover information on family events. Hence, we can analyze sorting and bargaining effects all along the family life cycle. Our analysis shows that firm effect gap appears clearly around the first childbirth and deepens over the life cycle: in addition to the direct effects of childbirth on wages, mothers also experience wage losses associated to sorting into low-paying firms.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, gender inequalities, linked employer-employee data, two-way fixed effect models, discrimination
    JEL: J31 J71 J16
    Date: 2018–01–03
  4. By: Komodromou, Maria Elena
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of postpartum depression (PPD) on maternal employment in the UK and assesses the extent of the direct and indirect link between PPD and maternal employment up to eleven years after the birth of the child. The study tests a range of factors (marital status, physical longstanding health problems, mental health problems, children’s outcomes) as mediators in order to assess the indirect effect of PPD on maternal employment, utilising several waves of data from the Millennium Cohort Study. The findings are of significance to policy makers as they indicate that PPD has a direct effect on maternal employment 5 years after the birth of the child and an indirect effect after 7 and 11 years. The indirect effects are mediated primarily through subsequent maternal mental and physical health problems.
    Date: 2018–01–11
  5. By: Francesco Agostinelli; Giuseppe Sorrenti
    Abstract: We study the effect of family income and maternal hours worked on child development. Our instrumental variable analysis suggests different results for cognitive and behavioral development. An additional $1,000 in family income improves cognitive development by 4.4 percent of a standard deviation but has no effect on behavioral development. A yearly increase of 100 work hours negatively affects both outcomes by approximately 6 percent of a standard deviation. The quality of parental investment matters and the substitution effect (less parental time) dominates the income effect (higher earnings) when the after-tax hourly wage is below $13.50. Results call for consideration of child care and minimum wage policies that foster both maternal employment and child development.
    Keywords: Child development, family income, maternal labor supply
    JEL: H24 H31 I21 I38 J13 J22
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Van Effenterre, Clémentine (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: This article examines the hypothesis that having daughters polarises male politicians' attitudes toward abortion rights. Using French and U.S voting records, I estimate that having daughters decreases support for abortion law by 25% for right-wing congressmen in France, and increases support for Democrats by 12%. I find similar behavioural patterns for voters using electoral surveys. Robustness checks confirm that this result is not an artefact of family stopping rules. I rationalise these findings in a model predicting that fathers with paternalistic preferences adopt a more polarised political position on abortion when they have a daughter rather than a son.
    Keywords: voting, polarisation, gender, political behaviour, attitudes, abortion
    JEL: D72 D83 J16
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Axel Börsch-Supan; Irene Ferrari
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to illustrate for Germany the factors that may explain the U-shaped pattern of older men’s labor force participation - from a long declining trend that began in the early 1970s to an increasing trend starting from the late 1990s - and at the same time the steady increase in older women’s labor force participation. In a first step, we provide graphical evidence of the trends of various variables which may be relevant, with the aim of investigating the presence or absence of common patterns between these factors and labor force participation. Then, through a decomposition analysis, we provide an empirical estimate of the contribution of some of these factors to the overall evolution of labor force participation. Our preliminary conclusion is that much of the change in the trend of older men’s labor force participation may be explained by changes in public pension regulations, and in particular by the phasing in of actuarial adjustments for early retirement. Regarding women, whether public pension rules play a role is unclear. Most probably, the secular change of women’s role in society is the main driver of the steadily increasing labor force participation among German women.
    JEL: H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2017–11

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