nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
six papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. The Effect of High School Rank in English and Math on College Major Choice By Delaney, Judith; Devereux, Paul J.
  2. Affirmative Action and Intersectionality at the Top: Evidence from South Africa By Klasen, Stephan; Minasyan, Anna
  3. Ask and You Shall Receive? Gender Differences in Regrades in College By Cher Hsuehhsiang Li; Basit Zafar
  4. Measuring Gender Norms in Domestic Work: A Comparison between Homosexual and Heterosexual Couples By Elisabeth Cudeville; Martine Gross; Catherine Sofer
  5. A “Silent Revolution”: school reforms and Italy’s educational gender gap in the Liberal Age (1861-1921) By Gabriele Cappelli; Michelangelo Vesta

  1. By: Delaney, Judith (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); Devereux, Paul J. (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Using unique data on preference rankings for all high school students who apply for college in Ireland, we investigate whether, conditional on absolute achievement, within school-cohort rank in English and math affects choice of college major. We find that higher rank in math increases the likelihood of choosing STEM and decreases the likelihood of choosing Arts and Social Sciences. Similarly, a higher rank in English leads to an increase in the probability of choosing Arts and Social Sciences and decreases the probability of choosing STEM. The rank effects are substantial, being about one third as large as the effects of absolute performance in math and English. We identify subject choice in school as an important mediator – students who rank high in math are more likely to choose STEM subjects in school and this can partly explain their subsequent higher likelihood of choosing STEM for college. We also find that English and math rank have significant explanatory power for the gender gap in the choice of STEM as a college major – they can explain about 36% as much as absolute performance in English and math. Overall, the tendency for girls to be higher ranked in English and lower ranked in math within school-cohorts can explain about 6% of the STEM gender gap in mixed-sex schools and about 16% of the difference in the STEM gender gap between mixed-sex schools and same-sex schools. Notably, these effects occur even though within-school rank plays no role whatsoever in college admissions decisions.
    Keywords: high school rank, STEM, college major choice, gender gap, comparative advantage
    JEL: I2 J1
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Klasen, Stephan; Minasyan, Anna
    Abstract: Gender-based board quotas do not always lead to higher share of women in top management positions. We study the consequences of an affirmative action policy that stipulates gender- and race-based targets in top management positions, beyond boards. We focus on the representation of intersectional group identities, such as race and gender, at the top. We find sizable increase in the likelihood of Black women employment in top positions in the post-policy period relative to Black men, White women and White men in South Africa. We extend our analysis and estimate policy spillovers for years of schooling, earnings gaps and self-employment.
    Keywords: affirmative action,top,employment,race,gender,South Africa
    JEL: H41 J18 J21 J71 K31
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Cher Hsuehhsiang Li; Basit Zafar
    Abstract: Using administrative data from a large 4-year public university, we show that male students are 18.6 percent more likely than female students to receive favorable grade changes initiated by instructors. These gender differences cannot be explained by observable characteristics of the students, instructors, and the classes. To understand the mechanisms underlying these gendered outcomes, we conduct surveys of students and instructors, which reveal that regrade requests are prevalent, and that male students are more likely than female students to ask for regrades on the intensive margin. Finally, we corroborate the gender differences in regrade requests in an incentivized controlled experiment where participants receive noisy signals of their performance, and where they can ask for regrades: we find that males have a higher willingness to pay (WTP) to ask for regrades. Because students' payoff depends on their final grade and the cost of regrades, male students' higher propensity to ask for regrades makes them financially better off only when the cost is low. Males are more likely than females to become financially worse off when the regrade cost is high. Almost half of the gender difference in the WTP is due to gender differences in confidence, uncertainty in beliefs about ability, and the Big Five personality traits.
    JEL: C40 C91 J01 J16
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Elisabeth Cudeville (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Martine Gross (CéSor - Centre d’études en sciences sociales du religieux - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Catherine Sofer (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Women throughout the world still do most of the unpaid domestic work. To reveal the impact of social norms beside traditional economic variables on the sharing of household tasks within couples, we choose to compare the sharing of tasks between heterosexual and homosexual couples in France based on econometric estimations. The results show that, other things being equal, heterosexual couples share tasks much more unequally than homosexual couples. Assuming that the behavior of same-sex couples is not affected by gendered social norms, we then propose a measure of the impact of these norms using a Blinder-Oaxaca type decomposition.
    Keywords: Household production,Gender Inequality,Division of Housework,Gender norms,Homosexual Couples,Heterosexual Couples
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Gabriele Cappelli (University of Siena); Michelangelo Vesta (University of Siena)
    Abstract: This paper explores the evolution of the human capital gender gap in Liberal Italy (1871 – 1921). First, we show that Italy lagged some 50 years behind more advanced countries like France, Prussia and the UK, and that the regional divide in gendered literacy was unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Next, we test whether the shift to primary-school centralization in 1911 (the Daneo-Credaro Reform) brought about a decisive improvement in female literacy. We rely on a brand-new, cross-section micro (municipal) dataset of literacy rates in 1911 and 1921, as well as their potential determinants around 1911. Such data, combined with Propensity Score Matching to improve identification, shows that primary-school centralization increased the average annual growth of female literacy by 0.78 percentage points. Thus, even though the Reform did not aim at girls specifically, it brought about the unintended consequences of more rapid human capital accumulation for women and – ceteris paribus – a reduced educational gender gap. We briefly discuss why this “Silent Revolution” likely had important implications for Italy’s economic history.
    Keywords: Gender, primary schooling, Liberal Age, Italy
    JEL: I25 J16 N3
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Binnur Balkan (Stockholm School of Economics); Seyit Mumin Cilasun (y. Atilim University and ERF)
    Abstract: In this study, we conduct a multiple identity correspondence audit study that we ran in a Muslim majority, developing country. To do that, we bring ethnicity and religiosity into a gender correspondence audit. We also introduce two new measure of discrimination to literature, and show that there is no gender discrimination at the intermediate steps of the hiring process. We find positive discrimination in favor of females at the callback stage but only if they belong to the neutral group. When we interact ethnicity and religiosity with gender, we see that favorable treatment of females disappear for Kurdish and religious females. Hence, we show that it is important to keep multiple identities in mind when conducting correspondence audit studies.Length: 43
    Date: 2019–12–20

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