nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Gender Stereotyping and Self-Stereotyping Attitudes: A Large Field Study of Managers By Eriksson, Tor; Smith, Nina; Smith, Valdemar
  2. Gender, Willingness to Compete and Career Choices along the Whole Ability Distribution By Buser, Thomas; Peter, Noemi; Wolter, Stefan C.
  3. The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data By Barth, Erling; Pekkala Kerr, Sari; Olivetti, Claudia
  4. Choice of Majors: Are Women Really Different from Men? By Kugler, Adriana; Tinsley, Catherine H.; Ukhaneva, Olga
  5. The Gender Wage Gap in Europe: Job Preferences, Gender Convergence and Distributional Effects By Redmond, Paul; McGuinness, Seamus
  6. Women in Top Incomes – Evidence from Sweden 1974-2013 By Boschini, Anne; Gunnarsson, Kristin; Roine, Jesper
  7. What Drives the Gender Wage Gap? Examining the Roles of Sorting, Productivity Differences, and Discrimination By Sin, Isabelle; Stillman, Steven; Fabling, Richard
  8. Changing Business Cycle Dynamics in the US: The Role of Women's Employment By Stefania Albanesi
  9. Safe options induce gender differences in risk attitudes By Paolo Crosetto; Antonio Filippin
  10. Generalized Glass Ceilings in the United States – A Stochastic Metafrontier Approach By Khalid Maman Waziri
  11. Higher Career Cost Can Actually Explain Why More Women Than Men Go to College By Hanzhe Zhang

  1. By: Eriksson, Tor (Aarhus School of Business); Smith, Nina (Aarhus University); Smith, Valdemar (Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: The dearth of women in top managerial positions is characterized by a high persistence and insensitivity to changes and differences in institutions and policies. This suggests it could be caused by slowly changing social norms and attitudes in the labor market, such as gender stereotypes and gender identity. This paper examines gender stereotypes and self-stereotyping in a large cross section of (about 2,970) managers at different job levels in (1,875) Danish private-sector firms. The survey data used contain detailed information about the managers as well as their employers. We find significant gender differences between managers with regard to gender stereotyping attitudes. Male managers on average tend to have stronger gender stereotype views with respect to the role as a successful manager than their female peers. However, female CEOs' gender stereotypes do not differ from their male peers' and have significantly more pronounced masculine stereotypes than female managers at lower levels. Female managers have stronger beliefs in their own managerial abilities regarding feminine skills and weaker beliefs in their masculine skills, whereas the opposite is observed for male managers. Gender stereotypes and self-stereotypes vary across types of managerial employees and firms. Beliefs in own ability could explain at most ten percent of the observed gender differential in C-level executive positions.
    Keywords: glass ceiling effects, gender, self-stereotypes, stereotypes, managerial labor markets
    JEL: J16 D83 D84 M51
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Buser, Thomas (University of Amsterdam); Peter, Noemi (University of Groningen); Wolter, Stefan C. (University of Bern)
    Abstract: Men are generally found to be more willing to compete than women and there is growing evidence that willingness to compete is a predictor of individual and gender differences in career decisions and labor market outcomes. However, most existing evidence comes from the top of the education and talent distribution. In this study, we use incentivized choices from more than 1500 Swiss lower-secondary school students to ask how the gender gap in willingness to compete varies with ability and how willingness to compete predicts career choices along the whole ability distribution. Our main results are: 1. The gender gap in willingness to compete is essentially zero among the lowest-ability students, but increases steadily with ability and reaches 30–40 percentage points for the highest-ability students. 2. Willingness to compete predicts career choices along the whole ability distribution. At the top of the ability distribution, students who compete are more likely to choose a math or science-related academic specialization and girls who compete are more likely to choose academic over vocational education in general. At the middle, competitive boys are more likely to choose a business-oriented apprenticeship, while competitive girls are more likely to choose a math-intensive apprenticeship or an academic education. At the bottom, students who compete are more likely to succeed in securing an apprenticeship position. We also discuss how our findings relate to persistent gender differences in career outcomes.
    Keywords: willingness to compete, gender, career decisions, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 J01 J16
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Barth, Erling (Institute for Social Research, Oslo); Pekkala Kerr, Sari (Wellesley College); Olivetti, Claudia (Boston College)
    Abstract: We use a unique match between the 2000 Decennial Census of the United States and the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) data to analyze how much of the increase in the gender earnings gap over the lifecycle comes from shifts in the sorting of men and women across high- and low-pay establishments and how much is due to differential earnings growth within establishments. We find that for the college educated the increase is substantial and, for the most part, due to differential earnings growth within establishment by gender. The between component is also important. Differential mobility between establishments by gender can explain 27 percent of the widening of the pay gap for this group. For those with no college the relatively small increase of the gender gap over the lifecycle can be fully explained by differential moves by gender across establishments. The evidence suggests that, for both education groups, the between-establishment component of the increasing wage gap is due almost entirely to those who are married.
    Keywords: gender pay gap, establishment wage differentials, earnings growth
    JEL: J16 J31
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Kugler, Adriana (Georgetown University); Tinsley, Catherine H. (Georgetown University); Ukhaneva, Olga (Georgetown University)
    Abstract: Recent work suggests that women are more responsive to negative feedback than men in certain environments. We examine whether negative feedback in the form of relatively low grades in major-related classes explains gender differences in the final majors undergraduates choose. We use unique administrative data from a large private university on the East Coast from 2009-2016 to test whether women are more sensitive to grades than men, and whether the gender composition of major-related classes affects major changes. We also control for other factors that may affect a student's final major including: high school student performance, gender of faculty, and economic returns of majors. Finally, we examine how students' decisions are affected by external cues that signal STEM fields as masculine. The results show that high school academic preparation, faculty gender composition, and major returns have little effect on major switching behaviors, and that women and men are equally likely to change their major in response to poor grades in major-related courses. Moreover, women in male-dominated majors do not exhibit different patterns of switching behaviors relative to their male colleagues. Women are, however, more likely to switch out of male-dominated STEM majors in response to poor performance compared to men. Therefore, we find that it takes multiple signals of lack of fit into a major (low grades, gender composition of class, and external stereotyping signals) to impel female students to switch majors.
    Keywords: education gender gap, major choice, STEM field
    JEL: I23 I24 J16
    Date: 2017–08
  5. By: Redmond, Paul (ESRI, Dublin); McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: The gender wage gap has declined in magnitude over time; however, the gap that remains is largely unexplained due to gender convergence in key wage determining characteristics. In this paper we show that the degree of gender convergence differs across countries in Europe. Most, if not all, of the wage gap is unexplained in some countries, predominantly in Eastern Europe, while in some central and peripheral countries, differences between the characteristics of males and females can still explain a relatively large proportion of the wage gap. We investigate whether gender differences relating to job preferences play a role in explaining the gender wage gap. We find that females are more motivated than males to find a job that is closer to home and offers job security, whereas males are motivated by financial gain. The average gender wage differential in Europe is 12.2 percent and gender differences in job preferences are associated with a 1.3 percentage point increase in the wage gap. We find that preferences explain more of the gender wage gap than the individual components relating to age, tenure and previous employment status. A quantile decomposition reveals that job preferences play a greater role in explaining the wage gap at the top of the wage distribution.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, job motives, Oaxaca, quantile decomposition
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2017–08
  6. By: Boschini, Anne (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Gunnarsson, Kristin (Department of Economics, Uppsala University); Roine, Jesper (SITE, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Using a large, register-based panel data set we study gender differences in top incomes in Sweden over the period 1974-2013. We find that, while women are still a minority of the top decile group, and make up a smaller share the higher up in the distribution we move, their presence has steadily increased in all top groups over the past four decades. Top income women are wealthier and rely more on capital incomes, but the difference, relative to men, has decreased since the 1970s. Over this period capital incomes have in general become more important in the top, but the share of working-rich women has gone up, while the opposite is true for men. Realized capital gains are more important for top income women but turn out to be of a more transitory nature than for men. Mobility is generally higher for top income women compared to top income men but the trend since the 1990s is toward increased gender equality in this respect too. Finally, we find important differences between top income women and men in terms of marital status and family composition. Overall, our results suggest that many of the findings in the top income literature have a clear gender component and that understanding gender equality in the top of the distribution requires studying not only earnings and labour market outcomes but also incomes from other sources.
    Keywords: Income inequality; income distribution; gender inequality; top incomes; capital incomes; realized capital gains
    JEL: D13 D31 H20 J16 J31
    Date: 2017–08–29
  7. By: Sin, Isabelle (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano); Fabling, Richard (Independent Researcher)
    Abstract: As in other OECD countries, women in New Zealand earn substantially less than men with similar observable characteristics. In this paper, we use a decade of annual wage and productivity data from New Zealand's Linked Employer-Employee Database to examine different explanations for this gender wage gap. Sorting by gender at either the industry or firm level explains less than one-fifth of the overall wage gap. Gender differences in productivity within firms also explain little of the difference seen in wages. The relationships between the gender wage-productivity gap and both age and tenure are inconsistent with statistical discrimination being an important explanatory factor for the remaining differences in wages. Relating across industry and over time variation in the gender wage-productivity gap to industry-year variation in worker skills, and product market and labor market competition, we find evidence that is consistent with taste discrimination being important for explaining the overall gender wage gap. Explanations based on gender differences in bargaining power are less consistent with our findings.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, discrimination, sorting, productivity, competition
    JEL: J16 J31 J71
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: Stefania Albanesi (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: I examine the effects of female labor market behavior on the dynamics of aggregate employment and hours in the trend and over the business cycle in the US. I argue that the steep increase in women's labor force participation throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and its flattening out since the 1990s can contribute to explain three puzzling phenomena experienced by the US: the non-stationarity of aggregate hours, the decrease business cycle volatility of labor market variables before the great recession, and the recent jobless recoveries. To develop the analysis, I first construct an aggregate time series for hours by gender similar to the series used in in aggregate business cycle analysis, and provide descriptive empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis proposed in this paper. I then develop and estimate a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that allows for gender differences in hours and wages to assess the implications of the changing trend in female participation on the behavior of aggregate variables. I find that female specific shocks explain a substantial fraction of the volatility of aggregate outcomes, both at the business cycle frequency and in the longer run. Using a number of counterfactuals, I show that the trend in female participation and its variation over time can rationalize the three phenomena of interest. These findings have implications for the behavior of aggregate labor market variables in other advanced economies where female labor force participation is experiencing secular changes.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Paolo Crosetto (INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, GAEL - Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Antonio Filippin (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Bonn, University of Milan)
    Abstract: Gender differences in risk attitudes are frequently observed, although recent literature has shown that they are context dependent rather than ubiquitous. In this paper we try to rationalize the heterogeneity of results investigating experimentally whether the presence of a safe option among the set of alternatives explains why females are more risk averse than males. We manipulate three widely used risk elicitation methods finding that the availability of a safe option causally affects risk attitudes. The presence of a riskless alternative does not entirely explain the gender gap but it has a significant effect in triggering or magnifying (when already present) such differences. Despite the pronounced instability that usually characterizes the measurement of risk preferences, we show, estimating a structural model, that the effect of a safe option is remarkably stable accross tasks. This paper constitutes the first successful attempt to shed light on the determinants of gender differences in risk attitudes.
    Keywords: safe option,risk attitudes,gender differences,experiment
    Date: 2017–05–30
  10. By: Khalid Maman Waziri (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille)
    Abstract: This paper highlights the limitations inherent to the stochastic earnings frontier methodology to analyzing wage discrimination and introduces the use of the metafrontier approach as an important improvement. Using US data from the Current Population Survey, we find that white women’s and black men’s maximum attainable hourly earnings represent respectively 80% and 76% of those of white men on average. Furthermore, the metafrontier approach shows that male-female and white-black differences in maximum attainable earnings are observed at all levels of human capital. This innovative methodology permits the identification of a “generalized” glass ceilings against females and blacks in the US.
    Keywords: sample selection correction,stochastic metafrontier approach,glass ceiling,stochastic frontier,wage differentials,discrimination
    Date: 2017–08
  11. By: Hanzhe Zhang (Department of Economics, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper shows how women’s relatively higher career cost can explain why in most of the developed countries women go to college at a higher rate than men and earn less on average. I assume men and women make costly college and career investments but women face an extra cost for career investment because such investment occurs during their fertile period. The extra career cost discourages women from investing in career but surprisingly encourages more women than men to go to college through a general-equilibrium marriage-market channel that results in an endogenously higher college marriage premium for women.
    Keywords: gender-differential career cost, college gender gap, college marriage premium
    JEL: C78 D10 I20
    Date: 2017–08

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.