nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2017‒09‒10
five papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. The Gender Unemployment Gap By Stefania Albanesi; Ayşegül Şahin
  2. Gender differences and the effect of facing harder competition By John, June
  3. How Gender Biased Are Female-Headed Household Transfers in Egypt? By Lobna M. Abdellatif; Mohamed Ramadan; Sarah A. Elbakry
  4. The Effect of Mothers’ Employment on Youth Gender Role Attitudes: Evidence From Egypt By May Gadallah; Maia Sieverding; Rania Roushdy
  5. Identities and Public Policies: Unintended Effects of Political Reservations for Women in India By Guilhem Cassan; Lore Vandewalle

  1. By: Stefania Albanesi; Ayşegül Şahin
    Abstract: The gender unemployment gap, the difference between female and male unemployment rates, was positive until the early 1980s. This gap disappeared after 1983, except during recessions, when men’s unemployment rate has always exceeded women’s. Using a calibrated three-state search model, we show that the convergence in female and male labor force attachment accounts for most of the closing of the gender unemployment gap. Evidence from nineteen OECD countries is consistent with this finding. We show that gender differences in industry composition are the main source of the cyclicality of the unemployment gap.
    JEL: E24 J16 J21
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: John, June
    Abstract: Gender differences in competition have been demonstrated in a variety of contexts, yet it remains unclear how people respond to competitors they perceive to be hard or easy, and whether gender differences exist in this response. I run an experiment in eighteen public high school classrooms to study the effect of competing in a math task against different levels of competitors. I exploit natural sorting within grade levels in Malaysian public schools to randomly assign competitors of different perceived difficulty levels. Using a standard competition measure, males are significantly more competitive than females. However, when students face harder competitors, males respond by lowering performance while the performance of females does not vary significantly by level of competition.
    Keywords: gender differences; competition; gender performance; tournament; piece-rate; information
    JEL: I20 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–08–22
  3. By: Lobna M. Abdellatif (Cairo University); Mohamed Ramadan; Sarah A. Elbakry
    Abstract: In this paper, we claim that the policy of targeting female-headed households’ (FHHs) may generate bias against women in male-headed households (MHHs) who may be more poverty-constrained. Targeting FHHs may have the merit of clear targeting, however, it doesn’t address the feminization phenomenon of poverty; instead, it presents unequal opportunities for women in other families by less favoring them. We argue that proper targeting could be derived based on the number of women in families. The study applied a Gender-Based Poverty Detection Model to provide a good detection of household poverty and show that the vulnerable characteristics of females could be more influenced by the general household's poverty than females' headed households. Model results showed that not all FHHs are poor, and that some de jure MHHs include a large number of poor females. This means that targeting only de jure FHHs might result in resource leakage to the non-poor and under-coverage of poor de facto FHHs and poor females in MHHs. The analysis asserts that female headship is not always a correlate of poverty in Egypt. An important correlate, however, is the share of female members in the household. This raises questions about the effectiveness of social assistance and poverty alleviation programs in Egypt in targeting female poverty.
    Date: 2017–10–08
  4. By: May Gadallah (Cairo University); Maia Sieverding; Rania Roushdy
    Abstract: Cross-nationally, having a working mother during childhood is associated with more egalitarian attitudes among both adult men and women. However, no previous studies have explored this relationship in the Middle East and North Africa, where women’s employment rates have remained persistently low. In this paper, we examine the impact of having a working mother during childhood on Egyptian young people’s attitudes towards women’s roles in the public sphere, gender roles in the household, and ideals around number of children and women’s age at marriage that are related to gender roles. In order to address the potential endogeneity of mother’s work and attitudes formation, we use an instrumental variable approach with panel data from the Survey of Young People in Egypt 2009 and 2014 waves. Mother’s employment is instrumented using the governorate-level female labor force participation rate and percentage of women working in the public sector in 2009. We find that having a working mother during childhood led to significantly more egalitarian attitudes towards women’s roles in the public sphere among both young men and women. However, there was no effect on young people’s attitudes towards gender roles in the household. Having a working mother led to lower ideal number of children among sons, but did not have any effect on views of the ideal age of marriage for women among children of either gender. In the Egyptian context, having a working mother during childhood thus appears to led to more egalitarian attitudes around women’s roles outside the household but not necessarily their roles inside the household. This suggests that attitudes around gender roles in the household may be more strongly socially conditioned and thus less affected by individual experience, and is also consistent with the finding from labor market research that women continue to bear the brunt of housework and childcare in Egypt even when they are employed. Thus, while having an employed mother does have some liberalizing effect on individual attitudes, broader change in attitudes around gender roles both inside and outside the home may be needed in order to foster increased female labor force participation.
    Date: 2017–10–08
  5. By: Guilhem Cassan (University of Namur); Lore Vandewalle (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: Identity is an important determinant of economic behavior. A limitation of the existing literature is the focus on one identity dimension at a time. We show that the multiplicity of identity dimensions matters for economic behavior and that neglecting it may lead policy makers to overlook important, unintended effects of economic policies. We exploit the randomized nature of political reservations for women in India to show that a policy designed along one identity dimension (gender) alters the distribution of the benefits of this policy along another one (caste). We propose an important variation in gender norms across caste groups as a plausible mechanism.
    Keywords: Intersectionality, identity economics, gender, quotas, affirmative action
    Date: 2017–08–30

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