nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒04‒27
five papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Sexual division of labour in the French Parliament By Quentin Lippmann
  2. He Taught, She Taught: The effect of teaching style, academic credentials, bias awareness and academic discipline on gender bias in teaching evaluations By Nigel Burnell; Irina Cojuharenco; Zahra Murad
  3. Gendered Language By Jakiela, Pamela; Ozier, Owen
  4. Ancestral Norms, Legal Origins, and Female Empowerment By Brodeur, Abel; Mabeu, Marie Christelle; Pongou, Roland
  5. A Strictly Economic Explanation of Gender Norms: The Lasting Legacy of the Plough By Cigno, Alessandro

  1. By: Quentin Lippmann (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques)
    Abstract: Women are increasingly present in politics. In 2018, they held nearly 39% of the seats in France's lower house ("l'Assemblée Nationale" or "the National Assembly") and 32% in its upper house ("le Sénat" or "the Senate"). However, do they do the same work as the men? This policy brief answers that question by studying sexual division of labour in the French Parliament for the period from 2002 to 2017 using an original method consisting in analysing the lexical content of the amendments filed and of the amendments passed. We show that the topic in which the gender-based differences in parliamentary work are the most marked is very specifically the topic of gender equality. On average, during one term of office, the probability of a female French Member of Parliament (MP) initiating at least one amendment on topics related to gender equality is 75% higher than that of a male French MP doing so. Female French MPs are also 25% more likely to initiate amendments on topics related to childhood and about 10% more likely to do so on topics related to immigration and health. Conversely, male French MPs are, for example, 25% more likely to initiate amendments on topics related to defence. Further statistical analysis shows that these differences cannot be explained by the female and male MPs coming from constituencies that are not comparable and that represent different electors in different parties. This implies that the division of parliamentary work probably results from objectives being intrinsically different between female and male MPs and, also from that fact that women entering politics has led to a change in the topics addressed by the French Parliament. For example, from 2002 to 2017, out of all of the amendments, the proportion of those relating to gender equality increased by nearly 70% in the National Assembly.
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Nigel Burnell (University of Surrey); Irina Cojuharenco (University of Surrey); Zahra Murad (University of Portsmouth)
    Abstract: Gender bias in teaching evaluations leads to unfair decisions during academics􏰀 careers. In four controlled experiments, we examine the role of academics􏰀 teaching style, academic credentials, academic discipline and bias awareness on gender bias in teaching evaluations. In Study 1, we test competing hypotheses regarding the effect of teaching style on gender bias. We find that a high warmth teaching style increases female academics􏰀 perceived warmth, but decreases their perceived competence, so gender bias in evaluations persists. In Study 2, we find that gender bias disappears for academic with senior credentials. Additionally, we find no evidence of less biased evaluations by those who anticipate gender bias. In Study 3 and Study 4, we test the robustness of our results in a different academic discipline and using different evaluation measures. In these latter studies, we do not find any evidence of gender bias in evaluations. We discuss our findings in the higher education context and make recommendations to mitigate gender bias in teaching evaluations.
    Keywords: Gender bias, teaching evaluations, teaching style, academic credentials, bias awareness
    Date: 2020–04–18
  3. By: Jakiela, Pamela (Center for Global Development); Ozier, Owen (World Bank)
    Abstract: Languages use different systems for classifying nouns. Gender languages assign nouns to distinct sex-based categories, masculine and feminine. We construct a new data set, documenting the presence or absence of grammatical gender in more than 4,000 languages which together account for more than 99% of the world's population. We find a robust negative cross-country relationship between prevalence of gender languages and women's labor force participation and educational attainment. We replicate these associations in four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and in India, showing 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: 2020–04
  4. By: Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa); Mabeu, Marie Christelle (University of Ottawa); Pongou, Roland (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: A large literature documents persistent impacts of formal historical institutions. However, very little is known about how these institutions interact with ancestral traditions to determine long-term economic and social outcomes. This paper addresses this question by studying the persistent effect of legal origins on female economic empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa, and how ancestral cultural norms of gender roles may attenuate or exacerbate this effect. Taking advantage of the arbitrary division of ancestral ethnic homelands across countries with different legal origins, we directly compare women among the same ethnic group living in civil law countries and common law countries. We find that, on average, women in common law countries are signicantly more educated, are more likely to work in the professional sector, and are less likely to marry at young age. However, these effects are either absent or significantly lower in settings where ancestral cultural norms do not promote women’s rights and empowerment. In particular, we find little effect in bride price societies, patrilocal societies, and societies where women were not involved in agriculture in the past. Our findings imply that to be optimal, the design of formal institutions should account for ancestral traditions.
    Keywords: legal origins, ancestral norms, women's empowerment, gender roles
    JEL: D03 I25 J16 N37
    Date: 2020–03
  5. By: Cigno, Alessandro (University of Florence)
    Abstract: We show that the descendants of primeval plough users have an interest in maintaining the gender division of labour which was originally justified on comparative-advantage grounds, even though in a modern economy individual productivity depends on education rather than physical characteristics. The result rests on the argument that the contract enforcement technology developed in response to the availability of the plough serves a purpose also in a modern economy because of a possible hold-up problem in the implementation of a Nash-bargaining equilibrium with domestic division of labour.
    Keywords: plough, comparative advantage, matching, hold-up problem, migration
    JEL: C78 D02 J16 J61
    Date: 2020–04

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