nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
nine papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Children and the Remaining Gender Gaps in the Labor Market By Cortes, Patricia; Pan, Jessica
  2. Strength in Numbers: A Field Experiment in Gender, Influence, and Group Dynamics By Stoddard, Olga B.; Karpowitz, Christopher F.; Preece, Jessica
  3. Are women less persistent? Evidence from submissions to a nationwide meeting of Economics By Paula Pereda; Matsunaga, Diaz, Borges, Chalco, Rocha, Narita, Brenck
  4. Flexible Wages, Bargaining, and the Gender Gap By Biasi, Barbara; Sarsons, Heather
  5. Do Women Benefit from Minimum Wages? By Olena Chorna; Lucas van der Velde
  6. Gender differences in overconfidence and decision-making in high-stakes competitions: Evidence from freediving contests By Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend
  7. STEM Occupations and the Gender Gap: What Can We Learn from Job Tasks? By Speer, Jamin D.
  8. The gender gap in aversion to COVID-19 exposure: evidence from professional tennis By Piotr Lewandowski; Zuzanna Kowalik
  9. Unwanted daughters: The impact of a ban on sex-selection on the educational attainment of women By Anisha Sharma; Garima Rastogi

  1. By: Cortes, Patricia (Boston University); Pan, Jessica (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: The past five decades have seen a remarkable convergence in the economic roles of men and women in society. Yet, persistently large gender gaps in terms of labor supply, earnings, and representation in top jobs remain. Moreover, in countries like the U.S., convergence in labor market outcomes appears to have slowed in recent decades. In this article, we focus on the role of children and show that many potential explanations for the remaining gender disparities in labor market outcomes are related to the fact that children impose significantly larger penalties on the career trajectories of women relative to men. In the U.S., we document that close to two-thirds of the overall gender earnings gap can be accounted for by the differential impacts of children on women and men. We propose a simple model of household decision-making to motivate the link between children and gender gaps in the labor market, and to help rationalize how various factors potentially interact with parenthood to produce differential outcomes for men and women. We discuss several forces that might make the road to gender equity even more challenging for modern cohorts of parents, and offer a critical discussion of public policies in seeking to address the remaining gaps.
    Keywords: labor market, children, gender gap, gender
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J13
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Stoddard, Olga B. (Brigham Young University); Karpowitz, Christopher F. (Brigham Young University); Preece, Jessica (Brigham Young University)
    Abstract: Policy interventions to increase women's presence in the workforce and leadership positions vary in their intensity, with some including a lone or token woman and others setting higher quotas. However, little is known about how the resulting group gender compositions influence individuals' experiences and broader workplace dynamics. In this paper, we investigate whether token women are disadvantaged compared to women on majority-women mixed-gender teams. We conducted a multi-year field experiment with a top-10 undergraduate accounting program that randomized the gender composition of semester-long teams. Using laboratory, survey, and administrative data, we find that even after accounting for their proportion of the group, token women are seen as less influential by their peers and are less likely to be chosen to represent the group than women on majority-women teams. Token women also participate slightly less in group discussions and receive less credit when they do. Women's increased authority in majority-women teams is driven primarily by men's behavior, not homophily or self-assessment. We find that over time, the gap in general assessments of influence between token and other women shrinks, but this improvement does not carry over to task-specific assessments. Finally, predictors of future grades are different for token women than for other participants, and regardless of treatment condition, women's task expertise is incorporated into group decisions less often than men's. Our findings have implications for team assignments in male-dominated settings and cast significant doubt on the idea that token women can solve influence gaps by "leaning in."
    Keywords: gender, field experiment
    JEL: J16
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Paula Pereda; Matsunaga, Diaz, Borges, Chalco, Rocha, Narita, Brenck
    Abstract: Female underrepresentation in high-profile career positions has relevant impacts on firms' outcomes and public policies. In the academic profession, women's participation decreases as they evolve in their career. To understand the lack of women in the field of economics in Brazil, we investigate the decision to submit papers to the largest conference in the country (Brazilian Meeting of Economics), as an important achievement in the profession. We explore a novel panel dataset of researchers and match them with web-scraped data of their résumés to test gender differences in the probability of submitting an article one year after having an article (same or new) rejected in the previous year. Our findings suggest that women desist 5.9 percentage points more than men when facing rejection. We also find evidence that younger women give up more and that the quality of the undergraduate program matters to determine the difference in the desistance rate between men and women. We argue that higher quality institutions might self-select women who are more competitive.
    Keywords: Female underrepresentation; competitive behavior; academic conferences
    JEL: J15 J16 C23 A11
    Date: 2020–09–29
  4. By: Biasi, Barbara (Yale School of Management); Sarsons, Heather (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)
    Abstract: Does flexible pay increase the gender wage gap? To answer this question we analyze the wages of public-school teachers in Wisconsin, where a 2011 reform allowed school districts to set teachers' pay more flexibly and engage in individual negotiations. Using quasi-exogenous variation in the timing of the introduction of flexible pay driven by the expiration of preexisting collective-bargaining agreements, we show that flexible pay increased the gender pay gap among teachers with the same credentials. This gap is larger for younger teachers and absent for teachers working under a female principal or superintendent. Survey evidence suggests that the gap is partly driven by women not engaging in negotiations over pay, especially when the counterpart is a man. This gap is not driven by gender differences in job mobility, ability, or a higher demand for male teachers. We conclude that environmental factors are an important determinant of the gender wage gap in contexts where workers are required to negotiate.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, flexible pay, teacher salaries, bargaining
    JEL: J31 J71 J45
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Olena Chorna (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Opletalova 26, 110 00, Prague, Czech Republic); Lucas van der Velde (Warsaw School of Economics – FAME|GRAPE)
    Abstract: We study how the large and unexpected increase in the minimum wage in Poland impacted the gender wage gap. For this purpose, we employ a distribution regression model coupled with a difference-in-differences estimator that recovers changes in the gender wage gap with minimum assumptions on the counterfactual wage distribution. We find that the increase in minimum wage closes the gender wage gap by almost 4 percentage points at the bottom of the wage distribution with a small spillover effect around the minimum wage. By contrast, at the top of the wage distribution gender inequality continued to grow. Minimum wage increases reduced gender wage gap even in a context of growing inequality.
    Keywords: Minimum wage, wage gap, distribution-regression, difference-in-difference
    JEL: C2 I2 J16
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend
    Abstract: This study examines gender differences in overconfidence and decision-making in a high-stakes environment. Using data on more than 40,000 individual attempts from international freediving competitions, we provide evidence that women, on average, are less likely than men to overestimate their ability. This result is robust to different measures of overconfidence and can be partly explained by experience. There are no substantial gender differences on the intensive margin of overconfidence. In terms of performance, results suggest that women suffer more from overconfidence than men.
    Keywords: overconfidence; gender; decision-making; competition; freediving
    JEL: D03 D81 J16 Z2
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Speer, Jamin D. (University of Memphis)
    Abstract: Policymakers often promote the importance of STEM jobs but are concerned about the underrepresentation of women and minorities in these jobs. However, there is no agreed-upon definition of STEM jobs. I use occupation task data from O*Net to analyze the STEM task content of occupations, drawing several conclusions. First, there is no clear, robust definition of STEM occupations, even when using task data. The occupations included are highly sensitive to the cut-offs and methods used. Second, there are a number of occupations that should clearly be considered STEM by task content but are typically not, including nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and economists. Third, the gender gap in STEM jobs depends heavily on how one defines STEM. One traditional definition shows that STEM jobs are 76% male, but most task-based definitions show gender gaps only half as large (62-65% male). Racial gaps in STEM and the earnings premium for STEM occupations (35-43%) are fairly stable across definitions. The results imply that policies promoting traditionally-defined STEM jobs can unnecessarily exclude women and draw workers away from other important occupations.
    Keywords: gender gaps, STEM
    JEL: J01 J15 J16
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Piotr Lewandowski; Zuzanna Kowalik
    Abstract: We study the gender differences in aversion to COVID-19 exposure. We use a natural experiment of the 2020 US Open which was organised in the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths and was the first major professional tennis tournament after the season was paused for six months. We analyse the gender gap in the propensity to voluntarily withdraw because of COVID-19 concerns among players who were eligible and fit to play. We find that female players are significantly more likely to withdraw from the 2020 US Open. While players from countries characterised by higher trust, higher patience, and lower risk taking are more likely to withdraw, female players exhibit significantly higher aversion to pandemic exposure also if cross-country differences in preferences are accounted for. About 15-20% of the probability to withdraw explained by our model can be attributed to gender.
    Keywords: COVID-19, exposure to disease, gender, aversion, tennis
    JEL: I12 J16 J44
    Date: 2020–09
  9. By: Anisha Sharma (Ashoka University); Garima Rastogi (Independent)
    Abstract: We study whether legal restrictions on prenatal discrimination against females leads to a shift by parents towards postnatal discrimination. We exploit the staggered introduction of a ban on sex-selective abortions across states in India to find that a legal restriction on abortions in India led to an increase in the number of females born, as well as a widening in the gender gap in educational attainment. Females born in states affected by the ban are 2.3, 3.5 and 3.2 percentage points less likely to complete Grade 10, complete Grade 12 and enter university relative to males. These effects are concentrated among non-wealthy households that lacked the resources to evade the ban. Investigating mechanisms, we find that the relative reduction in investments in female education were not driven by family size but because surviving females were now relatively unwanted. Discrimination is amplified among higher order births and among females with relatively few sisters. Finally, these negative effects exist despite the existence of a marriage market channel through which parents increase investments in their daughters' education to increase the probability that they make a high-quality match.
    Keywords: sex ratio, education, fertility, economics of gender, discrimination, abor- tion, India
    Date: 2020–09

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