nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2017‒09‒17
seven papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Gender, Willingness to Compete and Career Choices Along the Whole Ability Distribution By Thomas (T.) Buser; Noemi Peter; Stefan Wolter
  2. High School Choices and the Gender Gap in STEM By David Card; A. Abigail Payne
  3. How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness across Gender By Jana Cahlikova; Lubomir Cingl; Ian Levely
  4. An Advisor Like Me? Advisor Gender and Post-graduate Careers in Science By Patric Gaule; Mario Piacentini
  5. The Danger of a One-sided Story: The Effects of Production Regimes and Family Policies on the Gender Employment Gap By Ji Young Kang
  6. The Motherhood Wage Penalty: A Varieties of Capitalism Approach By Erik Lundquist; Hanna Eklööf
  7. Taxes and Market Hours -- the Role of Gender and Skill By Rachel Ngai; Lei Fang; Robert Duval Hernandez

  1. By: Thomas (T.) Buser (University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands); Noemi Peter (University of Groningen); Stefan Wolter (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
    JEL: D91 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–09–05
  2. By: David Card; A. Abigail Payne
    Abstract: Women who graduate from university are less likely than men to specialize in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). We use detailed administrative data for a recent cohort of high school students in Ontario, Canada, combined with data from the province's university admission system to analyze the dynamic process leading to this gap. We show that entry to STEM programs is mediated through an index of STEM readiness based on end-of-high-school courses in math and science. Most of the gender gap in STEM entry can be traced to differences in the rate of STEM readiness; less than a fifth is due to differences in the choice of major conditional on readiness. We then use high school course data to decompose the gap in STEM readiness among university entrants into two channels: one reflecting the gender gap in the fraction of high school students with the necessary prerequisites to enter STEM, and a second arising from differences in the fractions of females and males who enter university. The gender gap in the fraction of students with STEM prerequisites is small. The main factor is the lower university entry rate by men – a difference that is due to the lower fraction of non-science oriented males who complete enough advanced level courses to qualify for university entry. We conclude that differences in course-taking patterns and preferences for STEM conditional on readiness contribute to male-female differences in the rate of entering STEM, but that the main source of the gap is the lower overall rate of university attendance by men.
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Jana Cahlikova; Lubomir Cingl; Ian Levely
    Abstract: Since many key career events, such as exams and interviews, involve competition and stress, gender differences in response to these factors could help to explain the labor-market gender gap. In a laboratory experiment, we manipulate psychosocial stress using the Trier Social Stress Test, and confirm that this is effective by measuring salivary cortisol. Subjects perform a real-effort task under both tournament and piece-rate incentives and we elicit willingness to compete. We find that women under heightened stress do worse than women in the control group when compensated with tournament incentives, while there is no treatment difference for performance under piece-rate incentives. For males, stress does not affect output under competition. We also find that stress decreases willingness to compete overall, and for women, this is related to performance. These results help to explain previous findings on gender differences in performance under competition both in and out of the lab.
    Keywords: competitiveness; performance in tournaments; psychosocial stress; gender gap;
    JEL: C91 D03 J16 J33
    Date: 2017–05
  4. By: Patric Gaule; Mario Piacentini
    Abstract: We investigate whether having an advisor of the same gender is correlated with the productivity of PhD science students and their propensity to stay in academic science. Our analysis is based on an original dataset covering nearly 20,000 PhD graduates and their advisors from U.S. chemistry departments. We find that students with an advisor of the same gender tend to be more productive during the PhD and more likely to become professors themselves. We suggest that the under-representation of women in science and engineering faculty positions may perpetuate itself through the lower availability of same-gender advisors for female students.
    Keywords: science, gender, universities, post-graduate careers
    JEL: J24 J16 O31
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Ji Young Kang
    Abstract: Despite growing interest in the effects of variations in work and family reconciliation policies on female employment across countries, the questions in what way and to what extent production regimes influence female employment provide an important backdrop to the current research. Drawing on Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) literature, I examine the effects of production regimes and work and family reconciliation policies on the gender employment gap simultaneously in 15 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS). Childcare is associated with a lesser degree of gender gap in employment participation and leave generosity has a curvilinear relation with the gender employment gap. Whereas the coordinated market economies themselves are associated with smaller gender gaps in employment participation, in the coordinated market economies leave generosity produces a higher gender employment gap than in the liberal market economies. This research highlights the importance of production regimes in understanding female employment and the interactive effects of leave generosity by production regimes.
    Keywords: Gender employment gap,Varieties of Capitalism (VoC),production regimes,work and family reconciliation policies (leave generosity, public childcare)
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Erik Lundquist; Hanna Eklööf
    Abstract: This paper aims to relate the issue of the Motherhood Wage Penalty to the institutional framework “Varieties of Capitalism.†Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study, we perform cross-national analyses on the discrepancy in wages between mothers with young children and females without children. The second step of the analysis entails four different measures with relevance to both the institutional framework and our applied gender focus. We find that when nations exhibit features in line with “coordinated market economies,†characterized by relatively stubborn employment protection, smaller degree of general inequality, more concentrated wage bargaining, and higher rate of unionization, mothers are relatively more penalized in monetary terms compared to “liberal market economies.†The results add valuable insight to the limited gender literature within the framework and propose follow-up questions for expanding the efforts of gendering the Varieties of Capitalism.
    Keywords: Varieties of Capitalism,Motherhood Wage Penalty,Gender Economics,Institutional theory,Labor Economics
    JEL: J16 J31 J50 D02 P10
    Date: 2017–07
  7. By: Rachel Ngai (london school of economics); Lei Fang (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Robert Duval Hernandez (Unversity of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper documents that cross-country difference in aggregate market hours is mainly due to women's market hours, especially low-skilled women. Using a multi- sector model that allows for both gender and skill dimensions, it shows that taxes and social subsidies on family care account for a substantial fraction of the observed cross- country pattern in market hours. Both substitution margins across work and leisure and across market and home are important. Effects of taxes operate through both margins while social subsidies operate mainly through the second margin. The first margin affects all population groups while the second margin affects mostly women especially low-skilled.
    Date: 2017

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