nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2019‒10‒14
nine papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. On Using Pareto Distributions for Measuring Top-Income Gender Disparities By Niels-Jakob Harbo, Hansen; Karl, Harmenberg; Erik, Öberg; Hans-Henrik, Sievertsen
  2. The Gender Gap in Self-Promotion By Christine L. Exley; Judd B. Kessler
  3. A Cross-Cohort Analysis of Human Capital Specialization and the College Gender Wage Gap By Carolyn Sloane; Erik Hurst; Dan Black
  4. Marriage, Children, and Labor Supply: Beliefs and Outcomes By Yifan Gong; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner
  5. Improving educational pathways to social mobility. Evidence from Norway’s “Reform 94” By Marianne Bertrand; Magne Mogstad; Jack Mountjoy
  6. Gender differences in active ageing: Findings from a new individual-level index for European countries By David Steinmayr; Doris Weichselbaumer; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  7. How Cities Erode Gender Inequality: A New Theory and Evidence from Cambodia By Alice Evans
  8. Gender Identity Minorities and workplace legislation in Europe By Sidiropoulou, Katerina
  9. Domestic violence and women’s earnings: Does frequency matter? By Edith Aguirre

  1. By: Niels-Jakob Harbo, Hansen (International Monetary Fund); Karl, Harmenberg (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Erik, Öberg (Uppsala University); Hans-Henrik, Sievertsen (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: Atkinson et al. (2018) propose a measure of the glass ceiling exploiting that top incomes are approximately Pareto distributed. We clarify how this glass-ceiling coefficient describes the increasing scarcity of women further up in the income distribution and show how it relates to the top-income gender gap. If interpreting top income gender differences as caused by a female-specific income tax, the gender gap and glass ceiling coefficient measure its level and progressivity, respectively. Using Danish data on earnings, we show that the top gender gap and the glass-ceiling coefficient evolves across time, the life cycle, and educational groups.
    Keywords: decomposition; gender gap; glass ceiling; summary statistics
    JEL: C10 J31 J71
    Date: 2019–09–27
  2. By: Christine L. Exley; Judd B. Kessler
    Abstract: In job applications, job interviews, performance reviews, and a wide range of other environments, individuals are explicitly asked or implicitly invited to assess their own performance. In a series of experiments, we find that women rate their performance less favorably than equally performing men. This gender gap in self-promotion is notably persistent. It stays just as strong when we eliminate gender differences in confidence about performance and when we eliminate strategic incentives to engage in self-promotion. Because of the prevalence of self-promotion opportunities, this self-promotion gap may contribute to the persistent gender gap in education and labor market outcomes.
    JEL: C91 D90 J16
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Carolyn Sloane; Erik Hurst; Dan Black
    Abstract: This paper explores the importance of pre-market human capital specialization in explaining gender differences in labor market outcomes among the highly skilled. Using new data with detailed undergraduate major information for several cohorts of American college graduates, we establish many novel facts. First, we show evidence of a gender convergence in college major choice over the last 40 years. Second, we highlight that women today still choose college majors associated with lower potential wages than men. Third, we report gender differences in the mapping from major to occupation. Even conditional on major, women systematically choose lower potential wage and lower potential hours-worked occupations than men. Fourth, we document a modest gender convergence between the 1950 and 1990 birth cohorts in the mapping of major to occupation. Finally, we show that college major choice has strong predictive power in explaining gender wage gaps independent of occupation choice. Collectively, our results suggest the importance of further understanding gender differences in pre-labor market specialization including college major choice.
    JEL: J16 J24
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Yifan Gong; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner
    Abstract: While a large literature is interested in the relationship between family and labor supply outcomes, little is known about the expectations of these objects at earlier stages. We examine these expectations, taking advantage of unique data from the Berea Panel Study. In addition to characterizing expectations, starting during college, the data details outcomes for ten years after graduation. On average, both male and female college students are well-informed about the future gender gap in labor supply. Gender differences in beliefs about this future gap are primarily explained by gender differences in beliefs about how future family outcomes are related to future labor supply. Methodological contributions come from an approach for addressing measurement error in survey questions and the recognition that expectations data, along with longitudinal data, can potentially help address endogeneity issues arising in the estimation of the causal effect of family on labor supply.
    JEL: J12 J13 J2
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Marianne Bertrand; Magne Mogstad (Statistics Norway); Jack Mountjoy
    Abstract: High school vocational education has a controversial history in the United States, largely due to a perceived tradeoff between teaching readily deployable occupational skills versus shunting mostly disadvantaged students away from the educational and career flexibility afforded by general academic courses. We study the effects of a nationwide high school reform in Norway that aimed to move beyond this tradeoff. Reform 94, implemented in one step in the fall of 1994, integrated more general education into the vocational track, offered vocational students a pathway to college through a supplementary semester of academic courses, and sought to improve the quality of the vocational track through greater access to apprenticeships. We identify the impacts of the reform through a difference-indiscontinuity research design, comparing students born just before and after the reform’s birthdate eligibility cutoff to students born around the same cutoff in placebo years. Linking multiple administrative registries covering the entire Norwegian population, we find that the reform substantially increased initial enrollment in the vocational track, but with different subsequent outcomes for different groups. More men complete the vocational track at the expense of academic diplomas, but this has no detectable impact on college-going and leads to reduced criminal activity and higher earnings in adulthood, especially among disadvantaged men. For disadvantaged women, the initial surge in vocational enrollment leads to fewer high school dropouts and more vocational degrees with the college-prep supplement, and hence an increase in the share of college-eligible women; however, this translates into only small and insignificant increases in college completion and adult earnings. We show that men overwhelmingly pursue vocational education in higher-paying skilled trade fields, while women almost exclusively pursue vocational education in lower-paying service-based fields, which helps in interpreting some of these results. Overall, the reform succeeded at improving social mobility, particularly among men, but it somewhat exacerbated the gender gap in adult earnings.
    Keywords: Social mobility; vocational education; Reform 94
    JEL: I24 I28 J24 J62
    Date: 2019–09
  6. By: David Steinmayr; Doris Weichselbaumer; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: We use data from wave 6 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to construct an individual-level index of active ageing for people aged between 50 and 90 years. We develop nine sub-indices for different dimensions, which are then aggregated to the final index. This individual-level index allows to analyze inequalities between age cohorts, dimensions, countries, and other individual-characteristics that are covered by SHARE. We focus on differences between the sexes. Overall, women score lower than men with 54.9 index-points compared to 57.7 for men. We present gender differences in active ageing for some sub-populations as a showcase for this new individual-level index.
    Date: 2019–01
  7. By: Alice Evans (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: Support for gender equality has risen, globally. Analyses of this trend focus on individual and/or country-level characteristics. But this overlooks sub-national variation. Citydwellers are more likely to support gender equality in education, employment, leadership, and leisure. Why is this? This paper investigates the causes of rural-urban differences through comparative, qualitative research. It centres on Cambodia, where the growth of rural garment factories enables us to test theories that female employment fosters support for gender equality: potentially closing rural-urban differences; or whether other important aspects of city-living accelerate support for gender equality. Drawing on this rural and urban fieldwork, the paper suggests why social change is faster in Cambodian cities. First, cities raise the opportunity costs of gender divisions of labour – given higher living costs and more economic opportunities for women. Second, cities increase exposure to alternatives. People living in more interconnected, heterogeneous, densely populated areas are more exposed to women demonstrating their equal competence in socially valued, masculine domains. Third, they have more avenues to collectively contest established practices. Association and exposure reinforce growing flexibility in gender divisions of labour. By investigating the causes of subnational variation, this paper advances a new theory of growing support for gender equality.
    Keywords: Learning and Evaluation
    Date: 2019–06
  8. By: Sidiropoulou, Katerina
    Abstract: It is a fact that transgender people experience severe discrimination in various forms not only in their everyday lives but also in their working lives, especially when transitioning. It seems that Europe is slowly changing over the years as there are constant calls to tackle this complex issue by considering the inclusion of a third gender option, the abolition of any abusive practices, recommendations for legal redress in cases of violation, and a more transparent and self-determined legal recognition procedure. There are national laws which offer protection on the basis of gender identity at national and international levels. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of uniformity due to a number of unresolved matters such as uncertainty about who is covered, whether gender identity should be covered as a protected ground, what is required to gain a legal change of name and gender marker in official documents, who is responsible for authorisation and uncertainty over the stages, nature and duration of the actual procedure. Fewer distressed transgender employees and transphobic incidents are observed when there is greater social acceptability, organisational effort and national intervention. Research and collective actions by movements, political leaders, academics, medical experts and non-governmental organisations are further required to minimise societal and employment exclusions of transgender people.
    Keywords: legislation,gender identity minorities,transgender employees
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Edith Aguirre
    Abstract: In this paper I analyse the effect of domestic violence on women’s earnings, when the levels and the frequency of abuse are considered. An index for domestic violence is designed to capture the variation observed, challenging the traditional use of a dichotomous variable within this context. In addition, to conduct a causal analysis, an instrument indicating the husband’s random irritability is created. Findings show that women exposed to higher levels of domestic violence, economic, emotional or physical, struggle with lower salaries. Physical violence is the type of abuse with the largest negative incidence on earnings, followed by economic and emotional violence, respectively.
    Keywords: Earnings, female labor-force participation, marriage, omitted variable bias, violence against women.
    JEL: B54 J12
    Date: 2019–10

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.