nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2021‒02‒01
ten papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. The Gender Gap Among Top Business Executives By Wolfgang Keller; Teresa Molina; William W. Olney
  2. The Family Origin of the Math Gender Gap is a White Affluent Phenomenon By Gaia Dossi; David N. Figlio; Paola Giuliano; Paola Sapienza
  3. Firms, Jobs, and Gender Disparities in Top Incomes: Evidence from Brazil By Felipe Benguria
  4. Gender differences in tertiary education: what explains STEM participation By Mcnally, Sandra
  5. Gender Differences in Negotiation and Policy for Improvement By Maria Recalde; Lise Vesterlund
  6. Arable Land in Antiquity Explains Modern Gender Inequality By Jha, Chandan Kumar; Sarangi, Sudipta
  7. Scrutinizing the sticky floor/glass ceiling phenomena in the informal labour market in Cameroon: An unconditional quantile regression analysis By Ebenezer Lemven Wirba; Fiennasah Annif' Akem; Francis Menjo Baye
  8. Investigating the gender wealth gap across occupational classes By Waitkus, Nora; Minkus, Lara
  9. Women’s Education, Fertility and Children’ Health during a Gender Equalization Process: Evidence from a Child Labor Reform in Spain By Cristina Belles-Obrero; Antonio Cabrales; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall-Castello
  10. The Career Evolution of the Sex Gap in Wages: Discrimination vs. Human Capital Investment By David Neumark; Giannina Vaccaro

  1. By: Wolfgang Keller; Teresa Molina; William W. Olney
    Abstract: This paper examines gender differences among top business executives using a large executive-employer matched data set spanning the last quarter century. Female executives make up 6.2% of the sample and we find they exhibit more labor market churning – both higher entry and higher exit rates. Unconditionally, women earn 26% less than men, which decreases to 7.9% once executive characteristics, firm characteristics, and in particular job title are accounted for. The paper explores the extent to which firm-level temporal flexibility and corporate culture can explain these gender differences. Although we find that women tend to select into firms with temporal flexibility and a female-friendly corporate culture, there is no evidence that this sorting drives the gender pay gap. However, we do find evidence that corporate culture affects pay gaps within firms: the within-firm gender pay gap disappears entirely at female-friendly firms. Overall, while both corporate culture and flexibility affect the female share of employment, only corporate culture influences the gender pay gap.
    JEL: G30 J33 M14 M52
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Gaia Dossi; David N. Figlio; Paola Giuliano; Paola Sapienza
    Abstract: Previous research has shown that norms around the role of women in society could help explain the gender gap in mathematics, and that these norms could be transmitted within the family. Using data from the Florida Department of Education combined with birth certificates we uncover important heterogeneity in the transmission of gender biases within the family. We find that gender role norms can explain the lower performance of girls in mathematics only in relatively affluent White families, whereas they do not apparently matter for the performance of Black girls.
    JEL: A13 I20 J16 Z1
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Felipe Benguria (University of Kentucky)
    Abstract: This paper studies the gender disparities among top incomes in Brazil during the period 1994-2013 using administrative data on the universe of formal-sector job spells and detailed information on educational attainment, employers, and occupations performed. Over these two decades, differences in pay and participation between genders have narrowed, yet the process has been slow and women are still severely underrepresented, especially within the very top percentiles of the earnings distribution. The following findings highlight the role of firms and occupations in explaining these patterns. At the start of the period, women in the top percentile of the distribution owe a larger fraction of their earnings to working at high-paying firms than do men, while men’s top incomes are in excess of their firms’ average pay. In addition, belonging to the top percentile is initially much more persistent for men than for women. Both of these differences have vanished over time. I also document that the increase in the share in participation of women in top percentiles is primarily a within-firm and within-occupation phenomenon, which suggests that the evolution of cultural and institutional elements deserves further examination. Finally, I study the careers of female and male top earners, finding that the path to the top percentiles of the distribution is quite different across genders: Top-earning women work in larger firms from the start of their careers. Top-earning men earn large earnings premia above what their firm average pays throughout their career, and after their mid-30s switch employers at a higher frequency than women.
    Keywords: Top earners, Glass ceiling, Gender wage gap
    JEL: E24 G10 J31
    Date: 2020–12
  4. By: Mcnally, Sandra
    Abstract: The share of women achieving tertiary education has increased rapidly over time and now exceeds that of men in most OECD countries. However, women are severely under-represented in mathsintensive science fields, which are generally referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths). The under-representation of women in these subject areas has received a great deal of attention. This is because these fields are seen to be especially important for productivity and economic growth and are associated with occupations that have higher earnings. Subject of degree is an important part of the explanation for the gender wage gap. The aim of this paper is to review evidence on explanations for the STEM gap in tertiary education. This starts with statistics about background context and evidence on how well-prepared male and female students may be for studying STEM at a later stage. I then discuss what the literature has to say about the role of personal attributes: namely confidence, self-efficacy and competitiveness and the role of preferences and expectations. I go on to discuss features of the educational context thought to be important for influencing attributes and preferences (or mediating their effects): peers; teachers; role models; and curriculum. I then briefly discuss broader cultural influences. I use the literature reviewed to discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: STEM; gender gap; tertiary education
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2020–10
  5. By: Maria Recalde; Lise Vesterlund
    Abstract: Men more than women succeed when negotiating over labor-market outcomes, and gender differences in negotiation likely contribute to the gender wage gap and to horizontal and vertical segregation in the labor market. We review the evidence on the many initiatives that have been put in place to reduce the effect of gender differences in negotiation. Categorizing these as either ‘fix-the-women’ or ‘fix-the-institutions’ initiatives we find serious challenges to the former. Women do not appear to be broken and encouraging them to negotiate more and differently often backfires. The evidence suggests that ‘fix-the-institution’ initiatives are more effective in reducing gender differences in outcomes. Concerns of adverse effects of banning negotiations or salary history requests have not materialized, and preliminary evidence points to reductions in the gender differences in negotiation outcomes. The strongest evidence on effectiveness in narrowing gender disparities is found for policies that increase transparency. Numerous studies find that gender differences in negotiation diminish when it is clear what to expect from the negotiation and suggest that initiatives which improve transparency are likely to help equalize opportunities at the bargaining table.
    JEL: J16 J3
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Jha, Chandan Kumar; Sarangi, Sudipta
    Abstract: This paper argues that the availability of arable land in antiquity created gender norms that continue to affect current gender inequality. We show that countries with greater ancestral arable land have lower levels of gender inequality, better female reproductive health outcomes, and greater female labor force participation. Using more than 80,000 individual-level observations from over 70 countries, we find that it is positively associated with attitudes regarding women’s rights and abilities. We show that the primary mechanism driving this relationship is the shaping of norms that promote female labor force participation.
    Keywords: gender inequality, historical factors, ancestral arable land, cultural norms
    JEL: D03 J16 N30 Z1
    Date: 2020–11–24
  7. By: Ebenezer Lemven Wirba; Fiennasah Annif' Akem; Francis Menjo Baye
    Abstract: Cameroon's informal labour market largely harbours female workers, engaged mainly in low-productivity and low-paying jobs. We investigate the sticky floor and glass ceiling phenomena in the informal labour market as a whole and across its segments. We use the 2010 Cameroon labour market survey, employing the recentred influence function and blending the Oaxaca-Ransom and Neuman-Oaxaca decomposition methods.
    Keywords: Gender, Earnings inequality, Sticky floor, Glass ceiling, Unconditional quantile regression, Cameroon, Wage gap, Gender gap
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Waitkus, Nora; Minkus, Lara
    Abstract: This study examines the role of occupational class in the Gender Wealth Gap (GWG). Despite rising interest in gender differences in wealth, the central role of occupations in restricting and enabling its accumulation has received less scrutiny thus far. Drawing on the German Socio-economic Panel, we employ quantile regressions and decomposition techniques. We find explanatory power of occupational class for the gender wealth gap, which operates despite accounting for other labour-market-relevant parameters, such as income, tenure, and full-time work experience at all points of the wealth distribution. Wealth gaps by gender vary between and within occupational classes. Particularly, women's under-representation among the self-employed and over-representation among socio-cultural professions explain the GWG. Our study thus adds another dimension of stratification - occupational class - to the discussion of the gendered distribution of wealth.
    Keywords: gender wealth gap; inequality; gender; wealth; occupational class
    JEL: R14 J01 N0
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: Cristina Belles-Obrero; Antonio Cabrales; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall-Castello
    Abstract: We study the effect of women’s education on fertility and children’s health during a period ofgender equalization and women’s greater access to economic opportunities.
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: David Neumark; Giannina Vaccaro
    Abstract: Several studies find that there is little sex gap in wages at labor market entry, and that the sex gap in wages emerges (and grows) with time in the labor market. This evidence is consistent with (i) there is little or no sex discrimination in wages at labor market entry, and (ii) the emergence of the sex gap in wages with time in the labor market reflects differences between men and women in human capital investment (and other decisions), with women investing less early in their careers. Indeed, some economists explicitly interpret the evidence this way. We show that this interpretation ignores two fundamental implications of the human capital model, and that differences in investment can complicate the interpretation of both the starting sex gap in wages (or absence of a gap), and the differences in “returns” to experience. We then estimate stylized structural models of human capital investment and wage growth to identify the effects of discrimination and differences in human capital investment, and find evidence more consistent with discrimination reducing women’s wages at labor market entry.
    JEL: J16 J24 J71
    Date: 2020–12

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