nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2018‒06‒18
seven papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Minimum Wages and the Gender Gap in Pay: New Evidence from the UK and Ireland By Bargain, Olivier; Doorley, Karina; Van Kerm, Philippe
  2. Unhappiness in unemployment – is it the same for everyone? By Simonetta Longhi; Alita Nandi; Mark Bryan; Sara Connolly; Cigdem Gedikli
  3. The Gender Earnings Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from over a Million Rideshare Drivers By Cook, Cody; Diamond, Rebecca; Hall, Jonathan; List, John A.; Oyer, Paul
  4. The Strength of Gender Norms and Gender-Stereotypical Occupational Aspirations Among Adolescents By Andreas Kuhn; Stefan C. Wolter
  5. Gender, informal employment and trade liberalization in Mexico By Ben Yahmed, Sarra; Bombarda, Pamela
  6. Taxation, Work and Gender Equality in Ireland By Doorley, Karina
  7. Students' Selection and Heterogeneous Effects of Classroom Gender Composition: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland By Damiano Pregaldini; Uschi Backes-Gellner; Gerald Eisenkopf

  1. By: Bargain, Olivier (University of Bordeaux); Doorley, Karina (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); Van Kerm, Philippe (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))
    Abstract: Women are disproportionately in low paid work compared to men so, in the absence of rationing effects on their employment, they should benefit the most from minimum wage policies. This study examines the change in the gender wage gap around the introduction of minimum wages in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Using survey data for the two countries, we develop a decomposition of the change in the gender differences in wage distributions around the date of introduction of minimum wages. We separate out 'price' effects attributed to minimum wages from 'employment composition' effects. A significant reduction of the gender gap at low wages is observed after the introduction of the minimum wage in Ireland while there is hardly any change in the UK. Counterfactual simulations show that the difference between countries may be attributed to gender differences in non-compliance with the minimum wage legislation in the UK.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, minimum wage, distribution regression
    JEL: C14 I2 J16
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Simonetta Longhi (University of Reading); Alita Nandi (University of Essex); Mark Bryan (University of Sheffield); Sara Connolly (University of East Anglia); Cigdem Gedikli (University of Hertfordshire)
    Abstract: Many studies have shown that there is a general tendency for men’s subjective wellbeing to be more badly affected by unemployment when compared to women, although the extent varies across countries. The existing literature notes the gender differences and offers possible explanations, but does not formally compare competing hypotheses. We analyse whether gender differences in life satisfaction associated with the experience of unemployment can be attributed to degrees of specialisation in the labour market, differences in the types of work undertaken by men and women, differences in personality traits, work identity or gender norms. We find that it is not all, but some, women who suffer less than men when experiencing a transition into unemployment. The experience of unemployment for women is differentiated by pay, work identity and, most powerfully, gender attitudes.
    Keywords: gender attitudes, life satisfaction, unemployment, wellbeing
    JEL: I31 J16 J64
  3. By: Cook, Cody (Uber Technologies, Inc); Diamond, Rebecca (Stanford University); Hall, Jonathan (Uber Technologies, Inc); List, John A. (University of Chicago); Oyer, Paul (Stanford University)
    Abstract: The growth of the "gig" economy generates worker flexibility that, some have speculated, will favor women. We explore one facet of the gig economy by examining labor supply choices and earnings among more than a million rideshare drivers on Uber in the U.S. Perhaps most surprisingly, we find that there is a roughly 7% gender earnings gap amongst drivers. The uniqueness of our data--knowing exactly the production and compensation functions--permits us to completely unpack the underlying determinants of the gender earnings gap. We find that the entire gender gap is caused by three factors: experience on the platform (learning-by-doing), preferences over where/when to work, and preferences for driving speed. This suggests that, as the gig economy grows and brings more flexibility in employment, women's relatively high opportunity cost of non-paid-work time and gender-based preference differences can perpetuate a gender earnings gap even in the absence of discrimination.
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Andreas Kuhn (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training); Stefan C. Wolter (University of Bern, Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, CESifo & IZA)
    Abstract: We test the hypothesis that adolescents' occupational aspirations are more gender-stereo-typical if they live in regions where the norm towards gender equality is weaker. For our empirical analysis, we combine rich survey data describing a sample of 1,434 Swiss adolescents in 8th grade with communal voting results dealing with gender equality and policy. We use the voting results to measure spatial variation in the local norm towards (more) gender equality. We find that adolescents living in localities with a stronger norm towards gender equality are significantly and substantively less likely to aspire for a gender-stereotypical occupation. This correlation may reflect different underlying mechanisms, however, and a more detailed analysis in fact reveals that the association between gender norms and occupational aspirations mainly reflects the intergenerational transmission of occupations from parents to their children.
    Keywords: occupational choice, occupational segregation, gender gap, gender norms, preferences, socialization, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: J16 J24
    Date: 2018–06
  5. By: Ben Yahmed, Sarra; Bombarda, Pamela
    Abstract: We study how trade liberalization affects formal employment across gender. We propose a theoretical mechanism to explain how male and female formal employment shares can respond differently to trade liberalization through labor reallocation across tradable and non-tradable sectors. Using Mexican data over the period 1993-2001, we find that tariff cuts increase the probability of working formally for both men and women within 4-digit manufacturing industries. The formalization of jobs within tradable sectors is driven by large firms. Constructing a regional tariff measure, we find that regional exposure to trade liberalization increases the probability of working formally in the manufacturing sector for both men and women, and especially for men. However in the service sectors, the probability of working formally decreases for low-skilled women.
    Keywords: formal and informal labor,gender,trade liberalization,Mexico
    JEL: F11 F16 O17
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Doorley, Karina (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: In most developed countries, economies are facing population ageing, falling fertility rates and stagnating labour force participation. The ability of governments to fund future pension and health-care expenditure relies to a large extent on income tax and social security receipts from workers. Policymakers are generally in agreement that increasing the labour force participation of women, without reducing the fertility rate, is needed. In the year 2000, with the aim of increasing women's labour market participation, a partial individualisation of the Irish income tax system was initiated. Using the Living in Ireland survey and a difference-in-differences framework, I investigate whether this reform had any effect on female labour supply and caring duties. I find that the labour force participation rate of married women increased by 5-6 percentage points in the wake of the reform, hours of work increased by two per week and hours of unpaid childcare decreased by approximately the same margin.
    Keywords: individual taxation, labour supply, Ireland
    JEL: J08 J20 H31
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Damiano Pregaldini (University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (University of Zurich); Gerald Eisenkopf (University of Vechta)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how gender composition of classes impacts achievement of students who self-selected into different specialization tracks (STEM vs. Languages) according to their educational preferences. Based on administrative records from one of the largest high schools in the canton of Zurich (Switzerland), we are able to identify the causal effect of the gender composition of classes on student achievement by exploiting random assignment of students to classes. Compared to the previous literature, which mainly focused on average effects across all students, we find highly heterogeneous effects across students who self-selected into different specialization tracks. While the effect of a higher proportion of girls in the classroom is positive for girls and boys with an educational preference for languages, the effect is negative for girls in the STEM track. Our findings have important implications for the optimal organization of classes in schools and for the explanation of career trajectories after school. For instance, concentrating girls in few classes has a positive effect only on girls who favor languages over STEM.
    Keywords: classroom gender composition, heterogenous effects, sutdents' selection
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2018–06

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