nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
eight papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Women in Finance: A Case for Closing Gaps By Ratna Sahay; Martin Cihak
  2. Economic Gains From Gender Inclusion; New Mechanisms, New Evidence By Jonathan David Ostry; Jorge Alvarez; Raphael A Espinoza; Chris Papageorgiou
  3. Italian Families in the 21st Century: Gender Gaps in Time Use and their Evolution By Francesca Barigozzi; Cesare Di Timoteo; Chiara Monfardini
  4. Pay Transparency and Cracks in the Glass Ceiling By Emma Duchini; Stefania Simion; Arthur Turrell
  5. Gender Inequality in COVID-19 Times: Evidence from UK Prolific Participants By Sonia Oreffice; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  6. Gender, Technology, and the Future of Work By Mariya Brussevich; Era Dabla-Norris; Christine Kamunge; Pooja Karnane; Salma Khalid; Kalpana Kochhar
  7. Gender Inequality in Research Productivity During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Ruomeng Cui; Hao Ding; Feng Zhu
  8. The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19): Theoretical and practical perspectives on children, women and sex trafficking By Simplice A. Asongu; Usman M. Usman; Xuan V. Vo

  1. By: Ratna Sahay; Martin Cihak
    Abstract: Women are underrepresented at all levels of the global financial system, from depositors and borrowers to bank board members and regulators. A new study at the IMF finds that greater inclusion of women as users, providers, and regulators of financial services would have benefits beyond addressing gender inequality. Narrowing the gender gap would foster greater stability in the banking system and enhance economic growth. It could also contribute to more effective monetary and fiscal policy. New evidence suggests that greater access for women to and use of accounts for financial transactions, savings, and insurance can have both economic and societal benefits. For example, women merchants who opened a basic bank account tend to invest more in their businesses, while female-headed households often spend more on education after opening a savings account. More inclusive financial systems in turn can magnify the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies by broadening financial markets and the tax base. The paper also studies the large gaps between the representation of men and women in leadership positions in banks and in banking-supervision agencies worldwide. It finds that, shockingly, women accounted for less than 2 percent of financial institutions’ chief executive officers and less than 20 percent of executive board members. The analysis suggests that, controlling for relevant bank- and country-specific factors, the presence of women as well as a higher share of women on bank boards appears associated with greater financial resilience. This study also finds that a higher share of women on boards of banking-supervision agencies is associated with greater bank stability. This evidence strengthens the case for closing the gender gaps in leadership positions in finance.
    Keywords: Bank supervision;Banking;Economic growth;Financial stability;Gender equality;Gender;Financial inclusion;Boards of Directors
    Date: 2018–09–17
  2. By: Jonathan David Ostry; Jorge Alvarez; Raphael A Espinoza; Chris Papageorgiou
    Abstract: While progress has been made in increasing female labor force participation (FLFP) in the last 20 years, large gaps remain. The latest Fund research shows that improving gender diversity can result in larger economic gains than previously thought. Indeed, gender diversity brings benefits all its own. Women bring new skills to the workplace. This may reflect social norms and their impact on upbringing and social interactions, or underlying differences in risk preference and response to incentives for example. As such, there is an economic benefit from diversity, that is from bringing women into the labor force, over and above the benefit resulting from more (male) workers. The study finds that male and female labor are imperfect substitutes in production, and therefore gender differences in the labor force matter. The results also imply that standard models, which ignore such differences, understate the favorable impact of gender inclusion on growth, and misattribute to technology a part of growth that is actually caused by women’s participation. The study further suggests that narrowing gender gaps benefits both men and women, because of a boost to male wages from higher FLFP. The paper also examines the role of women in the process of sectoral reallocation from traditional agriculture to services and the resulting effect on productivity and growth. Because FLFP is relatively high in services, sectoral reallocation along development paths serves to boost gender parity and productivity.
    Keywords: Labor force participation;Gender equality;Employment;Labor supply;Women;Gender Diversity, Female Labor Force Participation, Production Function, Structural Transformation
    Date: 2018–10–08
  3. By: Francesca Barigozzi; Cesare Di Timoteo; Chiara Monfardini
    Abstract: We provide novel estimates of gender differences in the allocation of time by Italian adults and document their trends over the span 2002-2014, pooling three time-use surveys run by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The positive gap (females-males) in time devoted to Household work and the negative gap in Market work and Leisure are found to have narrowed over the observed period, mainly due to changes in women’s time allocation, while the positive gap in time devoted to Child care remained substantially constant. In 2014, the sharing of family duties appears still heavily unbalanced even when we look at the subsample of full-time working parents. Full-time working mothers devote to Market work about 4 hours per week less than their partners, but they devote 14 hours per week more to Household work and 3 hours and a half more to Basic child care. This translates in 13 hours per week more total (paid and unpaid) work and 11 hours per week less Leisure. On the positive side, the gender gap in time devoted to Quality child care exhibits a reversed sign in 2014. The change is driven by weekend days, when partners of full-time working mothers become the main provider of this type of care.
    JEL: J13 J22 H31
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Emma Duchini; Stefania Simion; Arthur Turrell
    Abstract: Each year since 2018, more than 10,000 UK firms have been required to publicly disclose their gender pay gap and gender composition. This paper studies how this transparency policy affects the occupational outcomes and wages of male and female workers. Theoretically, pay transparency represents an information shock that alters the bargaining power of male and female employees vis-\`a-vis the firm in an asymmetric way. As women are currently underpaid, this shock may improve women's relative outcomes. We test these theoretical predictions using a difference-in-difference strategy that exploits the variation in the UK mandate across firm size and time. Our results show that pay transparency increases the probability that women are hired in above-median-wage occupations by 5 percent compared to the pre-policy mean. Additionally, it leads to a 2.8 percent decrease in male real hourly pay in treated firms compared to control ones. Combining the difference-in-difference strategy with a text analysis of job listings, we also find suggestive evidence that treated firms in industries with a high gender pay gap become more likely to post wage information than firms in the control group.
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Sonia Oreffice (University of Surrey); Climent Quintana-Domeque (University of Exeter)
    Abstract: We investigate gender differences across socioeconomic and wellbeing dimensions after three months of lockdown in the UK, using an online sample of approximately 1,500 respondents in Prolific, representative of the UK population with regards to age, sex and ethnicity. We find that women’s mental health is worse than men’s along the four metrics we collected data on, that women are more concerned about getting and spreading the virus, and that women perceive the virus as more prevalent and lethal than men do. Women are also more likely to expect a new lockdown or virus outbreak by the end of 2020, and are more pessimistic about the current and future state of the UK economy, as measured by their forecasted present and future unemployment rates. Consistent with their more pessimistic views about the economy, women choose to donate more to food banks. Women are more likely to have lost their job because of the pandemic, and working women are more likely to hold more coronavirus-risky jobs than men. We also find that between February and June 2020 women have decreased their work hours, but increased housework and childcare much more than men. These gender inequalities are not driven by differences in age, ethnicity, education, family structure, income in 2019, current employment status, place of residence or living in rural/urban areas.
    Keywords: coronavirus, sex, inequity, well-being, Health, employment, perceptions, donations
    JEL: J16 I14 J64 D19
    Date: 2020–07
  6. By: Mariya Brussevich; Era Dabla-Norris; Christine Kamunge; Pooja Karnane; Salma Khalid; Kalpana Kochhar
    Abstract: New technologies?digitalization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning?are changing the way work gets done at an unprecedented rate. Helping people adapt to a fast-changing world of work and ameliorating its deleterious impacts will be the defining challenge of our time. What are the gender implications of this changing nature of work? How vulnerable are women’s jobs to risk of displacement by technology? What policies are needed to ensure that technological change supports a closing, and not a widening, of gender gaps? This SDN finds that women, on average, perform more routine tasks than men across all sectors and occupations?tasks that are most prone to automation. Given the current state of technology, we estimate that 26 million female jobs in 30 countries (28 OECD member countries, Cyprus, and Singapore) are at a high risk of being displaced by technology (i.e., facing higher than 70 percent likelihood of being automated) within the next two decades. Female workers face a higher risk of automation compared to male workers (11 percent of the female workforce, relative to 9 percent of the male workforce), albeit with significant heterogeneity across sectors and countries. Less well-educated and older female workers (aged 40 and above), as well as those in low-skill clerical, service, and sales positions are disproportionately exposed to automation. Extrapolating our results, we find that around 180 million female jobs are at high risk of being displaced globally. Policies are needed to endow women with required skills; close gender gaps in leadership positions; bridge digital gender divide (as ongoing digital transformation could confer greater flexibility in work, benefiting women); ease transitions for older and low-skilled female workers.
    Keywords: Information technology;Technological innovation;Labor force participation;Gender equality;Gender;Automation, Technological Change, Jobs, Female Labor Force, Occupational Choice, Gender Equality
    Date: 2018–10–08
  7. By: Ruomeng Cui (Goizueta Business School, Emory University); Hao Ding (Goizueta Business School, Emory University); Feng Zhu (Harvard Business School, Harvard University)
    Abstract: We study the disproportionate impact of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak on female and male academics' research productivity in social science. We collect data from the largest open-access preprint repository for social science on 41,858 research preprints in 18 disciplines produced by 76,832 authors across 25 countries in a span of two years. We find that during the 10 weeks after the lockdown in the United States, although the total research productivity increased by 35%, female academics' productivity dropped by 13.9% relative to that of male academics. We also show that several disciplines drive such gender inequality. Finally, we find that this intensified productivity gap is more pronounced for academics in top-ranked universities, and the effect exists in six other countries.
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Usman M. Usman (University of Malaya, Malaysia); Xuan V. Vo (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
    Abstract: The novel Coronavirus has spread internationally to more than two hundred countries and territories. At the same time, human trafficking in girls and women constitutes a global oppression in virtually all nations either as the source, transit, or destination. The feminist investigators have it that women are in destitute situations, which is a substantial trait of exploitation, especially in the light of the present Covid-19 pandemic. There is practically no research on the relevance of the current deadly respiratory disease to human trafficking from the gender dimension. This study fills the identified gap by providing theoretical and practical perspectives on children, women, and sex trafficking. It is a qualitative inquiry that employs process tracing as a primary research instrument. To better understand the present plague and gender situation, secondary data which are utilized consist of articles, books, reports, and integrated statistics. This research is arguably the first attempt that creates data evidence connecting the pandemic to female sexual exploitation. The paper illustrates that a policy is needed that will strengthen the capacity of existing structures in the fight against the underlying trafficking so that these attendant structures efficiently react to the corresponding threats to public health safety as well as contribute towards stopping the trafficking of girls and women during a pandemic.
    Keywords: Coronavirus, pandemic, human trafficking, girls and women, feminism
    Date: 2020–06

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