nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2017‒10‒22
five papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Has the Push for Equal Gender Representation Changed the Role of Women on German Supervisory Boards? By Bozhinov, Viktor; Koch, Christopher; Schank, Thorsten
  2. The Gender Wage Gap among College Graduates in Italy By Piazzalunga, Daniela
  3. Gender, Self-concept and Mathematics and Science Performance of South African Grade 9 Students By Debra Lynne Shepherd
  4. The Division of Labour Within Households: Fractional Logit Estimates based on the Austrian Time Use Survey By Spitzer, Sonja; Hammer, Bernhard
  5. Acculturation, Education, and Gender Roles: Evidence from Canada By Kessler, Anke; Milligan, Kevin

  1. By: Bozhinov, Viktor (University of Mainz); Koch, Christopher (University of Mainz); Schank, Thorsten (University of Mainz)
    Abstract: In Germany, an intensive public debate about increasing female participation in leadership positions started in 2009 and proceeded until the beginning of 2015, when the German parliament enacted a board gender quota. In that period, the share of women on supervisory boards for 111 German publicly listed and fully codetermined companies (i.e. those which are affected by the quota law) more than doubled from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 22.6 percent in 2015. In 2016, the first year when the law was effective, the female share increased again by 4.5 percentage points. Using a hand-collected dataset, we investigate whether the rise in female board representation was accompanied by a change in gender differences in board member characteristics and board involvement. We do not find evidence for the "Golden Skirts" phenomenon, i.e., the rise in the female share was not achieved via a few female directors holding multiple board memberships. After controlling for firm heterogeneity, the remuneration of female shareholder (employee) representatives is about 16 (9) percent lower than for males. We interpret this as an overall indication that women are not only underrepresented in German supervisory boards, they are even more underrepresented in important board positions. Indeed, women are less likely to become a chairman and are less often assigned to board committees (except for the nominating committee). Moreover, in 2016 the disadvantage of women (as compared to men) to obtain a committee membership is even larger than in 2009.
    Keywords: gender diversity, women on boards, gender quota, board remuneration, committee membership
    JEL: G34 G38 J16 J30
    Date: 2017–09
  2. By: Piazzalunga, Daniela (IRVAPP)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the gender wage gap among recently graduated people, controlling for job and academic variables and for the field of study, as women lag in highly remunerative majors. The raw gender gap in hourly wages is 5.6%. Although including academic variables and the field of study, on top of job-related variables, slightly reduces the unexplained gap, the latter still accounts for most of the total difference. Using quantile decomposition, the paper shows that the unexplained gap increases along the wage distribution, indicating a glass ceiling effect. Heterogeneities arise across fields of study: the largest total gap emerges in Law, Political-Social sciences, and Economics-Statistics. In most disciplines, there is a significant unexplained gap – from 3.3% (Medicine), to 8.7% (Law), up to 9.6% (Agriculture) – which constitutes the largest share of the difference, confirming that most of the wage gap remains unexplained also by major. Finally, I use geographical differences to explore the influence of institutional and macro-economic variables, as well as of attitudes towards gender norms. Results indicate that childcare and part-time availability are correlated with lower gender wage gaps, while traditional gender norms are associated with higher gaps.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, college graduates, quantile decomposition, field of study, regional differences
    JEL: J16 J31 J71
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Debra Lynne Shepherd (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Despite improvements over the past decade, South African women continue to be underrepresented in tertiary studies and professional careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. This has implications not only for economic development and growth, but also for social inequality as women continue to have lower access to higher paying employment opportunities. Using data from the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study of 2011, this paper finds that whilst grade 9 girls in the poorest 80% of South African schools experience no difference in domain-specific performance, self-concept and motivation, girls in the wealthiest subset of schools are found to significantly underperform in both subjects, as well as possess lower self-concept and motivation, and higher anxiety. Teacher gender and education are shown to correlate with these results; specifically, female teachers with math backgrounds negatively influence girls’ performances in wealthy schools. This is argued to be in keeping with stereotype threat theory (Steele, 2003) whereby women that are highly identified with math are subject to greater anxiety and concern over their performance. The relative difference in the performance of girls taught by a female versus a male teacher compared to the performance of boys is smaller when exposed to teachers with education training, suggesting that classroom methodology plays a role in the attainment of girls. Student fixed effects estimation reveals that the teacher characteristics mentioned above play important roles for moderating the relationship between student self-concept and performance of boys and girls.
    Keywords: gender inequality, STEM, stereotype, performance, self-concept, development
    JEL: C21 I21 I24 J16
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Spitzer, Sonja; Hammer, Bernhard
    Abstract: The allocation of paid and unpaid work within households strongly depends on the household members’ individual characteristics. The most important of these characteristics is gender, followed by education and parenthood. Despite the significant increase in women’s labour market participation in the last decades, they still perform 73 percent of housework and 79 percent of childcare in 2008/09. This paper studies the determinants of the persistent division of labour within households with a new approach that combines standard absolute measures of time use with the relative measure of time use shares. This approach allows for a better understanding of the division of labour and the influence of the household member’s characteristics on these allocations. The empirical analysis relies on the Austrian time use survey conducted in 1992 and 2008/09. To appropriately account for the complex structure of time use data, the fractional logit model is applied for predicting shares, and a Poisson-gamma model is introduced for estimating total amounts. Hereby, the complex dynamics of task allocation can be studied in Austria for the first time. The results indicate for the last two decades that there has been an overall increase in the time devoted to market work and childcare, but also that there has been a total decrease in housework. The latter may be explained by an increase in outsourcing work, due to gains in productivity, or because work is simply left undone. The results of the study also show that the higher women are educated, the more balanced paid and unpaid work are within households. On the contrary, parenthood increases female specialisation into unpaid work. Lastly, the results indicate a slight relaxation of gender roles over the last 20 years, however, the segregation of paid and unpaid work still persists.
    Keywords: Division of Labour, Unpaid Work, Female Labour Market Participation, Fractional Logit Model, Poisson-gamma Model, Childcare, Housework, Gender Roles, Time Use
    JEL: D13
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Kessler, Anke; Milligan, Kevin
    Abstract: This paper studies the influence of cultural norms on economic outcomes. We combine detailed information on second-generation female immigrants with historical data from their ancestral source country to see how the cultural endowment received from their fathers affects current decisions. Our results show that education plays a critical role in cultural transmission: lower-educated women exhibit a strong influence of cultural variables while higher-educated women show no influence at all.
    JEL: J16 J22 J61
    Date: 2017

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