nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2017‒07‒02
seven papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Education, norms, and gender equality By Ralsmark, Hilda
  2. Having It All? Employment, Earnings and Children By Laun, Tobias; Wallenius, Johanna
  3. One Size Fits All? Gender Differences in the Effect of Subjective Feedback By Agnes Szabo-Morvai; Anna Lovasz; Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska; Mariann Rigo; Andrea Kiss
  4. Why Are Single-Sex Schools Successful? By Dustmann, Christian; Ku, Hyejin; Kwak, Do Won
  5. Does teacher gender matter in Europe? Evidence from TIMSS data By Zoltán Hermann; Alfa Diallo
  6. Does Assigning More Women to Managerial Positions Enhance Firm Productivity? Evidence from Sweden By Sato, Yoshihiro; Ando, Michihito
  7. The effect of Affirmative Action on the reduction of employment discrimination, 1997-2015 By Fadwah Fredericks; Derek Yu

  1. By: Ralsmark, Hilda (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Despite major developments in gender equality, differences between men and women’s economic and social behaviors remain. Several studies demonstrate the importance of gender norms in explaining a significant part of the gender gap. But what shapes gender norms? I provide evidence on the role of education, considered to be a key factor to reach gender equality, in influencing attitudes on gender norms in two different domains: the labor market and household. Exploiting educational reforms in Europe, I find that mandatory education and years of education significantly reduces individuals’ level of agreement on the gender norm that the man should be the breadwinner but not on the gender norm that the woman should be the homemaker. The result is consistent with the hypothesis that part of the ”stalled revolution” in gender equality is because norms in the household are more rigid than in the labor market, and that educated women face a dilemma between a career and family, or a double burden where they continue to do the lion’s share of household work.
    Keywords: Gender equality; Education; Gender Norms; Labor market; Household Economics
    JEL: D10 I20 J16
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Laun, Tobias (Department of Economics); Wallenius, Johanna (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Sweden boasts high fertility and high female employment. However, part-time employment is very prevalent. There is a notable gender gap in both wages and earnings, which widens substantially after women have children. In this paper we study the effect of family policies on female employment, fertility and the gender wage gap. To this end, we develop a structural, life cycle model of heterogeneous households which features endogenous labor supply, human capital accumulation, fertility and home production. We find that family policies, such as subsidized daycare and part-time work options, promote maternal employment and fertility. Part-time work contributes greatly to the widening of the gender wage gap following the arrival of children. However, restricting part-time work options would lower maternal employment, and thereby also widen the gender wage gap.
    Keywords: Life cycle; Labor supply; Human capital; Fertility; Home production
    JEL: E24 J22 J24
    Date: 2017–04–23
  3. By: Agnes Szabo-Morvai (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and HETFA Institute); Anna Lovasz (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and ELTE University); Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); Mariann Rigo (Institute of Gerontology at TU Dortmund University); Andrea Kiss (Duke University, North Carolina)
    Abstract: The effect of objective feedback on performance is often studied, while subjective feedback is largely neglected in the economics literature. We estimate the impact of positive subjective feedback - encouragement and praise - on effort and performance, and compare the effect by gender. We use a computer game, during which players are randomly chosen to be given either no feedback (control) or positive subjective feedback (treatment), and analyze the treatment effect on effort (clicks) and performance (score). Based on previous economic and psychology theories, we test the pathways through which subjective feedback can have an impact: on (1) effort, due to the updating of expected performance or direct (dis)utility from the feedback, or (2) marginal productivity. The results point to significant differences in the mean effects of subjective feedback by gender. For women, encouragement has a significant positive effect while praise has a significant negative effect on performance, while men are less responsive to subjective feedback in general. Gender differences are mostly explained by different confidence distributions, while there are no gender differences in treatment effects if confidence level is held fixed. The effects are mostly realized through changes in effort. These results suggest that better targeted supervisory communication in schools or workplaces can improve the performance of lower-confidence individuals and thereby decrease the gender gap in performance.
    Keywords: gender differences, supervisory feedback, experimental economics
    JEL: C90 D03 J16 M54
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Dustmann, Christian; Ku, Hyejin; Kwak, Do Won
    Abstract: We exploit two unusual policy features of academic high schools in Seoul, South Korea - random assignment of pupils to high schools within districts and conversion of some existing single-sex schools to the coeducational (coed) type over time - to identify three distinct causal parameters: the between-school effect of attending a coed (versus a single-sex) school; the within-school effect of school-type conversion, conditional on (unobserved) school characteristics; and the effect of class-level exposure to mixed-gender (versus same-sex) peers. We find robust evidence that pupils in single-sex schools outperform their counterparts in coed schools, which could be due to single-sex peers in school and classroom, or unobservable school-level covariates. Focusing on switching schools, we find that the conversion of the pupil gender type from single-sex to coed leads to worse academic outcomes for both boys and girls, conditional on school fixed effects and time-varying observables. While for boys, the negative effect is largely driven by exposure to mixed-gender peers at school-level, it is class-level exposure to mixed-gender peers that explains this disadvantage for girls.
    Keywords: Gender; random assignment; school inputs; single sex schools
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Zoltán Hermann (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Alfa Diallo (Regional Centre of Energy Policy Research)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of teacher gender on student achievement in 20 European countries. We employ a student fixed effect approach to account for unobservable subject-invariant student ability and non-random student-teacher sorting. Our results show that female teachers tend to increase students’ test scores, especially for girls. However, this effect is far from universal; it is present in half of the countries in our sample. The female effect is likely to reflect selection into the teaching profession, as it is stronger in countries where the teacher wages relative to graduate wages are higher for women than for men. Having a teacher of the same gender also benefits students in Western Europe. We further find that the female teacher effect is more pronounced for low achievers, and in Western Europe for students with an immigrant background.
    Keywords: teacher gender, student achievement, fixed-effect estimation, TIMSS
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: Sato, Yoshihiro (European Institute of Japanese Studies); Ando, Michihito (National Institute of Population and Social Security Research)
    Abstract: We analyze whether gender composition at non-board managerial levels has any impact on firm productivity and other related outcomes in the service sector using a linked employer-employee dataset from Sweden. Exploiting within-firm variation, we apply a difference-in-differences propensity score matching method to address an endogeneity issue. Our results suggest no significant effects on productivity but significant positive effects on firms' growth in terms of value added and labor inputs when a firm “replaces” a male manager with a woman. We do not observe any impact when a firm “appoints” a woman instead of a man to a new managerial position.
    Keywords: Gender; Gender diversity; Firm productivity; Manager; Difference-in-differences matching; Propensity score matching
    JEL: J16 J24 J71 J82
    Date: 2017–01–09
  7. By: Fadwah Fredericks; Derek Yu
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of Affirmative Action on the reduction of employment discrimination by race and gender, more than 20 years since the economic transition. The empirical part of the paper employs a sample that represents the labour force (excluding informal sector workers, agricultural workers, domestic workers, self-employed and employers) aged between 15 and 65 years. The study estimates probit models to examine labour force participation, employment and occupational attainment likelihoods, followed by the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, using labour survey data in 1997-2015. The decomposition results show that the unexplained component of the White-African employment probability gap reveals a slight downward trend in absolute terms in 2002-2011 but in relative terms it still accounts for more than 50% of the gap. On the other hand, the unexplained component is most dominant in the male-female employment gap decomposition. These results suggest that employment discrimination against Africans and females remains serious.
    Keywords: Affirmative Action, labour market discrimination, employment discrimination, Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition, South African banking
    JEL: J00
    Date: 2017–05

This nep-gen issue is ©2017 by Jan Sauermann. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.