nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
three papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Transparency? By Morten Bennedsen; Elena Simintzi; Margarita Tsoutsoura; Daniel Wolfenzon
  2. Gendered Language By Pamela Jakiela; Owen Ozier
  3. The changing nature of gender selection into employment over the Great Recession By Juan J. Dolado; Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa; Linas Tarasonis

  1. By: Morten Bennedsen; Elena Simintzi; Margarita Tsoutsoura; Daniel Wolfenzon
    Abstract: We examine the effect of pay transparency on gender pay gap and firm outcomes. This paper exploits a 2006 legislation change in Denmark that requires firms to provide gender dis-aggregated wage statistics. Using detailed employee-employer administrative data and a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the law reduces the gender pay gap, primarily by slowing the wage growth for male employees. The gender pay gap declines by approximately two percentage points, or a 7% reduction relative to the pre-legislation mean. In addition, the wage transparency mandate causes a reduction in firm productivity and in the overall wage bill, leaving firm profitability unchanged.
    JEL: G18 G28 J16
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Pamela Jakiela (Center for Global Development; University of Maryland; BREAD; IZA); Owen Ozier (World Bank Development Research Group; BREAD; IZA)
    Abstract: Languages use different systems for classifying nouns. Gender languages assign many—sometimes all—nouns to distinct sex-based categories, masculine and feminine. We construct a new data set, documenting this property for more than four thousand languages which together account for more than 99 percent of the world’s population. At the cross-country level, we find a robust negative relationship between prevalence of gender languages and women’s labor force participation. We also show that traditional views of gender roles are more common in countries with more native speakers of gender languages. Our cross-country data also permit a novel permutation test, demonstrating that the patterns we find are robust to statistical correction for correlation in linguistic structure within language families. We also conduct within-country analysis in two regions where indigenous languages vary in terms of their gender structure. In four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and in India, we show that educational attainment and female labor force participation are lower among those whose native languages use grammatical gender.
    Keywords: grammatical gender, language, gender, linguistic determinism, labor force participation, educational attainment, gender gaps
    JEL: J16 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2019–01–14
  3. By: Juan J. Dolado (European University Institute); Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa (Aix-Marseille University, EHESS, CNRS, Central Marseille & AMSE); Linas Tarasonis (Vilnius University & Bank of Lithuania)
    Abstract: The Great Recession has strongly influenced employment patterns across skill and gender groups. This paper analyzes how the resulting changes in non-employment have affected selection into jobs and hence gender wage gaps. Using data for the European Union, we show that male selection into the labour market, traditionally disregarded, has become positive. This is particularly so in Southern Europe, where dramatic drops in male unskilled employment have taken place during the crisis. As regards female selection, traditionally positive, we document two distinct effects. An added-worker effect has increased female labour force participation and hence reduced selection in some countries. In others, selection has become even more positive as a result of adverse labour demand shifts in industries which are intensive in temporary work, a type of contract in which women are over-represented. Overall, our results indicate that selection has become more important among men and less so among women, thus changing traditional gender patterns and calling for a systematic consideration of male non-employment when studying gender wage gaps.
    Keywords: Sample selection, gender wage gaps, gender employment gaps
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2019–01–14

This nep-gen issue is ©2019 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.