nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒04‒06
six papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Tournaments with Safeguards: A Blessing or a Curse for Women By Zhengyang Bao; Andreas Leibbrandt
  2. Gender Differences in Preferences for Meaning at Work By Burbano, Vanessa; Padilla, Nicolas; Meier, Stephan
  3. Misallocation across Establishment Gender By Ranasinghe, Ashantha
  4. Sex, language, and financial inclusion By Osei-Tutu, Francis; Weill, Laurent
  5. Gender Differences in Wage Expectations By Ana Fernandes; Martin Huber; Giannina Vaccaro
  6. The Relationship between Female Labor Force Participation and Violent Conflicts in South Asia By Robertson,Raymond; Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.; Morales,Matias

  1. By: Zhengyang Bao; Andreas Leibbrandt
    Abstract: Workplace tournaments are one likely contributor to gender differences in labor market outcomes. Relative to men, women are often less eager to compete and thrive less under competitive pressure. We investigate a competitive workplace environment that may produce more gender-neutral outcomes: tournaments with safeguards. In our experiments, participants take part in a tournament with a real effort task and choose whether they want to have a complimentary safeguard that guarantees higher wages for the low-ranked. As expected, we find that women are more likely than men to obtain such a safeguard. However, obtaining a safeguard comes at a cost. On average, the safeguard causes lower performance, creates a gender wage gap, and over-proportionally disadvantages women. Thus, we provide novel evidence that easing women into tournaments can backfire.
    Keywords: workplace tournaments, gender differences, safeguard, experiment
    JEL: C92 J16 M52
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Burbano, Vanessa (Columbia Business School); Padilla, Nicolas (Columbia Business School); Meier, Stephan (Columbia University)
    Abstract: In an effort to better understand occupational segregation by gender, scholars have begun to examine gender differences in preferences for job characteristics. We contend that a critical job characteristic has been overlooked to date: meaning at work; and in particular, meaning at work induced by job mission. We provide empirical evidence of the importance of gender differences in preferences for meaning at work using mixed methods. First, we demonstrate the universality of gender differences in preferences for meaning at work using a cross-country survey covering individuals in 47 countries. We show that these differences become more pronounced with greater levels of education and economic development, suggesting that their importance is likely to increase over time. To address potential social desirability bias in responses about job preferences and to examine whether differences in preferences translate into differences in important behavioral outcomes, we next conduct a conjoint analysis of a cohort of MBA students at a top US university and track their behavior over two years. We show show that preferences for meaning at work, particularly meaning induced by job mission, explain gender differences in not only types of courses taken, but also job industry placement during and after the MBA, thus helping to explain the under-representation of females in higher-paying industries. Overall, this research establishes that men and women differ in their preferences for meaning at work, with important implications for our understanding of the drivers of occupational segregation and of the consequences of corporate mission and purpose.
    Keywords: job design, job preferences, gender segregation by occupation, mission, meaning at work
    JEL: D91 J16
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Ranasinghe, Ashantha (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Extending a standard model for measuring misallocation, I find substantial differences to its extent across male and female establishments spanning over 75 low and middle income countries. In South American and South Asian countries female establishments face higher distortions on production, whereas in Eastern European countries male establishments face higher distortions. These differences are due to gender bias against females in South Asia in the range of 20 percent, and perhaps surprisingly, against males in Eastern Europe of a similar range. Importantly, gender bias against females is negatively related to economic development. A hypothetical policy that levels the playing field across gender has a larger impact on female establishment size and raises their market share in countries where females face higher distortions.
    Keywords: misallocation; gender; productivity; micro data
    JEL: J16 O10 O40 O50
    Date: 2020–03–23
  4. By: Osei-Tutu, Francis; Weill, Laurent
    Abstract: Reference to gender in language can lead individuals to draw distinctions between genders and reinforce traditional views of gender roles. To test our hypothesis that language gender-marking exerts an influence on the gender gap in financial inclusion, we draw on data for 117 countries in the World Bank’s Global Findex database and perform logit estimations at the individual level. We find the gender gap in the probability of owning a formal account, having access to a formal credit, as well as having savings in a formal financial institution is higher for countries with gendered languages than for countries with genderless languages. These findings are confirmed in robustness checks that control for alternative measures of culture and estimations at the country level.
    JEL: G21 Z13
    Date: 2020–04–01
  5. By: Ana Fernandes; Martin Huber; Giannina Vaccaro
    Abstract: Using a survey on wage expectations among students at two Swiss institutions of higher education, we examine the wage expectations of our respondents along two main lines. First, we investigate the rationality of wage expectations by comparing average expected wages from our sample with those of similar graduates; we further examine how our respondents revise their expectations when provided information about actual wages. Second, using causal mediation analysis, we test whether the consideration of a rich set of personal and professional controls, namely concerning family formation and children in addition to professional preferences, accounts for the difference in wage expectations across genders. We find that males and females overestimate their wages compared to actual ones, and that males respond in an overconfident manner to information about outside wages. Despite the attenuation of the gender difference in wage expectations brought about by the comprehensive set of controls, gender generally retains a significant direct, unexplained effect on wage expectations.
    Date: 2020–03
  6. By: Robertson,Raymond; Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.; Morales,Matias
    Abstract: This paper explores the link between the prevalence of violent conflicts and extremely low female labor force participation rates in South Asia. The Labor Force Surveys from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan are merged with the Global Terrorism Database to estimate the relationship between terrorist attacks and female labor supply. Geographical data on exposure to violence are used to compare administrative units exposed to attacks with those not exposed. The analysis finds that one additional attack reduces female labor force participation rates by about 0.008 percentage point, on average. Violence has less impact on male labor participation, thus widening the gender labor participation gap. The paper tests the added -- worker effect theory -- which posits that violence might increase female labor force participation as women try to make up for lost household income?and finds mixed evidence: greater prevalence of attacks may encourage married women to work more hours, but when the environment gets more risky, all women work fewer hours. The paper also finds that violence decreases female labor participation less where it was already higher and has a progressively greater impact on lowering female labor participation where the number of attacks is higher.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Armed Conflict,International Terrorism&Counterterrorism,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,Food&Beverage Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,General Manufacturing,Rural Labor Markets
    Date: 2020–03–26

This nep-gen issue is ©2020 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.