nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒03‒30
four papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Pollution, Ability, and Gender-Specific Responses to Shocks By Teresa Molina
  2. Does the Internet Reduce Gender Gaps? : The Case of Jordan By Viollaz,Mariana; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  3. Gender Bias and Intergenerational Educational Mobility: Theory and Evidence from China and India By Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
  4. Graduates’ opium? Cultural values, religiosity and gender segregation by field of study By Zuazu-Bermejo, Izaskun

  1. By: Teresa Molina (University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper explores how labor market conditions drive gender differences in the human capital decisions of men and women, focusing on how their schooling decisions respond to an exogenous change in cognitive ability. Using data from Mexico, I begin by documenting that in utero exposure to air pollution leads to lower cognitive ability in adulthood for both men and women. I then explore how male and female schooling decisions respond differentially to this cognitive shock: for women only, pollution exposure leads to reduced educational attainment and income. I show that two labor market features are fully responsible for this gender difference: (1) women sort into white-collar occupations at higher rates, and (2) schooling and ability are more complementary in white-collar than blue-collar occupations.
    Keywords: gender, occupational choice, early life, pollution, education, Mexico
    JEL: I26 Q53 J24
    Date: 2019–05
  2. By: Viollaz,Mariana; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: This article investigates the link between digital technologies and female labor market outcomes in a country with one of the largest gender disparities. It exploits the massive roll-out of mobile broadband technology in Jordan between 2010 and 2016 to identify the effect of internet adoption on labor force participation. Using panel data at the individual level with rich information on labor market outcomes, internet use and gender-biased social norms, the article finds that internet adoption increases female labor force participation but has no effect on male labor force participation. The increase in online job search explains some -- but not all -- of the total increase in female labor force participation. Only older and skilled women experience an increase in employment in response to having internet access. The internet also reduces the prevalence of gender-biased social norms, early marriage and fertility.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Rural Labor Markets,Gender and Development,Educational Sciences,Information Technology
    Date: 2020–03–13
  3. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: We incorporate gender bias against girls in the family, the school and the labor market in a model of intergenerational persistence in schooling where parents self-finance children’s education because of credit market imperfections. Parents may underestimate a girl’s ability, expect lower returns, and assign lower weights to their welfare (“pure son preference”). The model delivers the widely-used linear conditional expectation function (CEF) under constant returns and separability, but generates an irrelevance theorem: parental bias does not affect relative mobility. With diminishing returns and complementarity, the CEF can be concave or convex, and gender bias affects both relative and absolute mobility. We test these predictions in India and China using data not subject to coresidency bias. The evidence rejects the linear CEF, both in rural and urban India, in favor of a concave relation. The girls face lower mobility irrespective of location in India when born to fathers with low schooling, but the gender gap closes when the fathers are college educated. In China, the CEF is convex for sons in urban areas, but linear in all other cases. The convexity for urban sons supports the complementarity hypothesis of Becker et al. (2018), and leads to gender divergence in relative mobility for the children of highly educated fathers. In urban China, and urban and rural India, the mechanisms are underestimation of ability of girls and unfavorable school environment. There is some evidence of pure son preference in rural India. The girls in rural China do not face bias in financial investment by parents, but they still face lower mobility when born to uneducated parents. Gender barriers in rural schools seem to be the primary mechanism, with no convincing evidence of parental bias.
    Keywords: Gender Bias,Intergenerational Mobility,Education,Becker-Tomes Model,Complementarity,Son Preference,India,China,Coresidency Bias
    JEL: I24 J62 J16 O20
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Zuazu-Bermejo, Izaskun
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between cultural values and gender distribution across fields of study in higher education. I compute national, field and subfield-level gender segregation indices for a panel dataset of 26 OECD countries for 1998-2012. This panel dataset expands the focus of previous macro-level research by exploiting data on gender segregation in specific subfields of study. I consider two focal cultural traits: gender equality and religiosity, and control for potential segregation factors, such as labour market and educational institutions, and aggregate-level gender disparities in math performance and beliefs among young people. The estimates fail to associate gender equality measures with gender segregation in higher education. Religiosity is significantly associated with lower gender segregation in higher education. However, gender gaps in math beliefs seem to be stronger predictors of national-level gender segregation. Field and subfield-level analyses reveal that religiosity is associated with less gender-segregated fields of education, science, and health, and specifically with the subfield of social services.
    Date: 2020–03–05

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