nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒04‒08
three papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. The Parenthood Penalty in Mental Health: Evidence from Austria and Denmark By Alexander Ahammer; Ulrich Glogowsky; Martin Halla; Timo Hener
  2. Is Equality Regulation Effective in Reducing Gender Gaps in the Labor Market? Quantification and Evidence for Spain By Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti; Laura Hospido; Andrés Atienza-Maeso
  3. The Gender Gap in Meaningful Work By Burbano, Vanessa C.; Folke, Olle; Meier, Stephan; Rickne, Johanna

  1. By: Alexander Ahammer (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz); Ulrich Glogowsky (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz); Martin Halla (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Timo Hener (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Using Austrian and Danish administrative data, we examine the impacts of parenthood on mental health equality. Parenthood imposes a greater mental health burden on mothers than on fathers. It creates a long-run gender gap in antidepressant prescriptions of about 93.2% (Austria) and 64.8% (Denmark). Further evidence suggests that these parenthood penalties in mental health are unlikely to reflect differential help-seeking behavior across the sexes or the biological effects of giving birth to a child. Instead, they seem to mirror the psychological effects of having, raising, and investing in children. Supporting this interpretation, matched adoptive mothers (who do not experience the biological impacts of childbirth) also encounter substantial parenthood penalties. Moreover, mothers who invest more in childcare (by taking extended maternity leave in quasi-experimental settings) are more likely to face mental health problems.
    Keywords: Gender equality, fertility, parenthood, motherhood, mental health, parental leave
    JEL: D63 J13 I10 J16 J22
    Date: 2024–03
  2. By: Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti; Laura Hospido; Andrés Atienza-Maeso
    Abstract: This article quantifies, through text analysis, when, at what rate and in what regions, Spanish administrations have adopted regulations aimed at achieving gender equality, improving work-life balance or combating harassment. The study covers the period 1996-2022, identifying both central government legislation and legislation in each of the regions. The analysis, therefore, organises the information in a panel format. The indicators reveal the high degree of heterogeneity in terms of the legislation in the various related areas, with non-discrimination legislation being the most developed and frequent. They also reveal differences between regions, with Andalusia and Catalonia being those in which most legislation has been adopted. The database is then used to investigate the relationship between legislative changes and labour market inflows for women in Spain. Our correlation analysis exhibits a positive relationship between the volume of legislation passed in the areas of interest, such as non-discrimination policies, and indicators of both employment and female labour force participation.
    Keywords: Regulation, Discrimination, Work-Life Balance, Labour Market
    JEL: K00 K36 K38
    Date: 2024
  3. By: Burbano, Vanessa C. (Columbia Business School); Folke, Olle (Department of Political Science, Uppsala University); Meier, Stephan (Columbia Business School); Rickne, Johanna (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: An understanding of differences in non-monetary work conditions is fundamental for a complete characterization of individuals’ well-being at work. Thus, to fully characterize gender inequalities in the labor market, scholars have begun to explore gender differences in non-monetary work conditions. We examine one such condition — meaningful work — using nationally representative survey data linked with worker and employer administrative data. We document a large and expanding gender gap in meaningful work, wherein women experience their jobs as more meaningful than men do. We then explore patterns underlying this difference. We find little correlation between women’s higher experience of meaningful work and either labor market decisions related to first parenthood or women’s under-representation in leadership jobs. Instead, the gender gap appears to be highly correlated with the sorting of more women into occupations with a high level of beneficence — the sense of having a prosocial impact. While both women and men experience such jobs as more meaningful, women do so by a larger margin. Next, we consider the relationship between the gender difference in meaningful work and the gender wage gap, contributing to the discussion on compensating differentials in work amenities. We find that while the gender gap in meaningful work closes a substantial part of the wage gap in lower-paid jobs, it does little to close the gap in higher-paid jobs where the gender wage gap is largest.
    Keywords: meaningful work; non-monetary work conditions; occupational segregation; work conditions; gender
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J32
    Date: 2023–11–09

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