nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒10‒05
eight papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Gender, Parenthood, and Hiring Intentions in Sex-Typical Jobs: A Survey Experiment By Mari, Gabriele; Luijkx, Ruud
  2. Breadwinner, bread maker. Gender division of labor and intrahousehold inequality in 1930s rural Italy By Mancini, Giulia
  3. Adverse selection into competition: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment in Tanzania By Almås, Ingvild; Berge, Lars Ivar; Bjorvatn, Kjetil; Somville, Vincent; Tungodden, Bertil
  4. Family-Leave Mandates and Female Labor at U.S. Firms: Evidence from a Trade Shock By Fariha Kamal; Asha Sundaram; Cristina J. Tello-Trillo
  5. The Weight of Patriarchy? Gender Obesity Gaps in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) By Costa-Font, Joan; Gyori, Mario
  6. On the Origins of Gender-Biased Behavior: The Role of Explicit and Implicit Stereotypes By Eliana Avitzour; Adi Choen; Daphna Joel; Victor Lavy
  7. Gender Empowerment, Supply-Chain Linkages and Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence on Bangladesh By Hiau-Looi Kee; Ana Margarida Fernandes
  8. Knowledge Intensity and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data By Radu Barza; Cristian Jara-Figueroa; César A. Hidalgo; Martina Viarengo

  1. By: Mari, Gabriele; Luijkx, Ruud
    Abstract: We ran a survey experiment with Dutch employers to investigate hiring discrimination in sex-typical jobs. We ask if women are especially discriminated against when they have children, whether discrimination applies similarly in different occupations, and whether statistical discrimination or status-characteristic theories best account for discriminatory practices (if any). Employers rate fictitious candidates for either a female-typical job (primary-school teacher) or a male-typical job (software engineer). Employers are found to display a slight preference for female candidates when filling a teacher post, although such bias is less strong for female applicants with children. No such ranking is found for a software engineer vacancy, nor do we find different salary offers across candidates and across vacancies. Employers do not appear to favour men over women for positions likely to be on the career track, as predicted by statistical discrimination theories, nor do they expect women to be less capable than men, as posited by status-characteristic theory. Female candidates with children, however, are expected to be less committed to their job and work fewer hours, especially in the teacher experiment. Such expectations seem to have small consequences for the hiring decisions and salary offers Dutch employers make in our study.
    Date: 2020–01–22
  2. By: Mancini, Giulia
    Abstract: This paper offers a quantitative description of gender segregation in productive roles, and of its consequences on basic dimensions of women’s and girls’ wellbeing, among rural households in interwar Italy. It uses microdata assembled from a collection of family monographs, which recount the lives, work, and consumption behavior of more than 800 men and women. It finds that, despite the emphasis put by the qualitative literature on non-stereotypical examples of female work, a rigid gender-based division of labor was the rule. An investigation of household nutrition and expenditures does not offer definitive proof of gender bias in intrahousehold resource allocation, in spite of anecdotal evidence. Nevertheless, women commanded a lower share of total household income, while putting in as many or more working hours than men.
    Keywords: gender; intrahousehold inequality; agriculture; Italy; interwar; Fascism.
    JEL: D13 J16 N30 N50 Q12
    Date: 2020–06–09
  3. By: Almås, Ingvild (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Berge, Lars Ivar (Dept. of Accounting, Auditing and Law, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Bjorvatn, Kjetil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Somville, Vincent (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: An influential literature has shown that women are less willing to compete than men, and the gender gap in competition may contribute to explaining gender differences in educational choices and labor market outcomes. This study reports from a large-scale randomized controlled trial of a women empowerment program in Tanzania targeting young women at the end of secondary school. Combining the randomized controlled trial, a lab-in-the-field experiment and survey data, we provide evidence suggesting that the program caused adverse selection into competition: low performing women competed more, while there was no effect on the high performers. We provide a theoretical framework to illustrate an adverse selection mechanism that may contribute to explain why the program only affected the willingness to compete among low performers. Our results emphasize the importance of understanding sorting mechanisms and heterogeneous treatment effects in the design of policies and programs.
    Keywords: Competition; Fairness
    JEL: C19 I24 J16
    Date: 2020–09–18
  4. By: Fariha Kamal; Asha Sundaram; Cristina J. Tello-Trillo
    Abstract: We study the role of family-leave mandates in shaping the gender composition at U.S. firms that experience a negative demand shock. In a regression discontinuity framework, we compare firms mandated to provide job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and firms that are exempt from the law (non-FMLA) following the post-2001 surge in Chinese imports. Using confidential microdata on matched employers and employees in the U.S. non-farm private sector, we find that between 2000 and 2003, an increase in import competition decreases the share of female workers at FMLA compared to non-FMLA firms. The negative differential effect is driven by female workers in prime childbearing years, with less than college education, and is strongest at firms with all male managers. We find similar patterns in changes in the female share of earnings and promotions. These results suggest that, when traditional gender norms prevail, adverse shocks may exacerbate gender inequalities in the presence of job-protected leave mandates.
    Keywords: FMLA, job-protected leave, gender gap, regression discontinuity, China shock, gender norms
    JEL: F16 J08 J16 J18 J23
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics); Gyori, Mario (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: The worldwide obesity epidemic has impacted women more heavily than men. These gender-based differences are particularly pronounced in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where gender obesity gaps on average exceed 10 percentage points. This paper examines one of the explanations, namely the role of female empowerment on gender gaps in obesity. We study the effect of several measures of female empowerment including female labour market participation on gender obesity gaps over a time span of 41 years (1975-2016) in a sample of 190 countries. We document that after controlling for a number of relevant controls, gender obesity gaps are only associated to measures of female empowerment in the MENA region but that this is not true worldwide. We then use an instrumental variable approach in order to illustrate that the causality runs indeed from empowerment, proxy it by both labour market and political participation to gender obesity gaps and not vice versa. Our results reveal that a one percentage point increase in female labor market participation (female MPs in national parliament) predicts a 0.2 (0.09) percentage point decrease in gender gaps in obesity in the MENA region.
    Keywords: female overweight, obesity, female empowerment, female labour market participation, Middle East and North Africa Region, female political participation
    JEL: I18 J16
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Eliana Avitzour; Adi Choen; Daphna Joel; Victor Lavy
    Abstract: In recent years, explicit bias against women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is disappearing but gender discrimination is still prevalent. We assessed the gender-biased behavior and related explicit and implicit stereotypes of 93 math teachers to identify the psychological origins of such discrimination. We asked the teachers to grade math exam papers and assess the students’ capabilities while manipulating the perceived gender of the students to capture gender-biased grading and assessment behavior. We also measured the teachers’ implicit and explicit stereotypes regarding math, gender, and talent. We found that implicit, but not explicit, gender stereotypes correlated with grading and assessment behavior. We also found that participants who underestimated their own implicit stereotypes engaged in more pro-male discrimination compared to those who overestimated or accurately estimated them. Reducing implicit gender stereotypes and exposing individuals to their own implicit biases may be beneficial in promoting gender equality in STEM fields.
    JEL: J16
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Hiau-Looi Kee; Ana Margarida Fernandes
    Abstract: This paper studies foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers on gender labor market practices of domestic firms, based on a unique firm-to-firm dataset of Bangladesh’s textiles and garment sectors. We look at the female employment of domestic firms that are directly and indirectly related to the FDI firms through supply chain linkages. These domestic firms are either the local suppliers or customers of FDI firms or they share local suppliers and customers with the FDI firms. The estimates show that domestic firms related to FDI firms have significantly more female administrative workers, but not necessarily female non-administrative workers, due to more firm-to-firm interactions participated by the former.
    Keywords: foreign direct investment, women, female labor force participation, supply chain linkages, Bangladesh
    JEL: F1 F2 F6 J2
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Radu Barza; Cristian Jara-Figueroa; César A. Hidalgo; Martina Viarengo
    Abstract: Do knowledge intense jobs exhibit lower gender gaps in wages? Here we use a linked employeremployee dataset of the entire Brazilian formal labor force to study the relationship between gender wage gaps and the knowledge intensity of industries and occupations. We find that employees in high-skilled occupations and industries experience lower gender wage gaps, and that the effect of knowledge intensity is stronger when the demand for skilled labor is high and the supply of skilled labor is low. We also find evidence that the gender wage gap of skilled workers, but not that of unskilled workers, decreases when knowledge intense industries grow. These effects are robust to controlling for individual, occupation, sector, and location characteristics. To address endogeneity concerns, we use a Bartik instrument based on labor demand shocks. Together, these findings suggest that competition for skilled labor in knowledge intense industries contributes to the reduction of gender wage gaps.
    Date: 2020

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