nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2021‒07‒19
twelve papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. The evolving gender gap in labor force participation during COVID-19 By Simeon Djankov; Eva (Yiwen) Zhang; Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg; Marie Hyland
  2. Women Left Behind: Gender Disparities in Utilization of Government Health Insurance in India By Pascaline Dupas; Radhika Jain
  3. All geared towards success? Cultural origins of gender gaps in student achievement By Holmlund, Helena; Rainer, Helmut; Reich, Patrick
  4. Women Artists By Abby LeBlanc; Stephen Sheppard
  5. Under Pressure: Women's Leadership During the COVID-19 Crisis By Raphael Bruce; Alexsandros Cavgias, Luis Meloni, Mario Remigio
  6. Behind the Child Penalty: Understanding What Contributes to the Labour Market Costs of Motherhood By Alessandra Casarico; Salvatore Lattanzio
  7. Sissy That Walk: Transportation to Work by Sexual Orientation By Sonia Oreffice; Dario Sansone
  8. Attitudes about Paid Parental Leave: Cross-national comparisons and the significance of gendered expectations, family strains, and extant leave offerings By Knoester, Chris; Li, Qi; Petts, Richard
  9. Sexual Orientation and Earnings. A Meta-Analysis 2012-2020 By Drydakis, Nick
  10. Risk Perceptions, Board Networks, and Directors’ Monitoring By Wenzhi Ding; Chen Lin; Thomas Schmid; Michael S. Weisbach
  11. Gender Policy and Intimate Partner Violence in Colombia By Durevall, Dick
  12. The Seen and the Unseen: Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Prenatal Sex Selection By Sayli Javadekar; Kritika Saxena

  1. By: Simeon Djankov (Peterson Institute for International Economics); Eva (Yiwen) Zhang (Peterson Institute for International Economics); Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg (Peterson Institute for International Economics); Marie Hyland (World Bank)
    Abstract: Despite many significant gains by women in the paid workforce in recent decades, the percentage of women participating in the labor force has remained lower than the percentage of male participants. Now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn it precipitated, the gap in labor force participation between men and women in some economies has actually widened, with potentially damaging repercussions for women’s career prospects and pay. The pandemic has disproportionately affected sectors employing more women, such as retail stores, restaurants, and the hotel and hospitality business. An increase in family caregiving responsibilities because of school and childcare closures has also fallen on working mothers' shoulders. Both factors have pulled women out of the labor force. The authors track trends in male and female labor force participation in 43 countries and find substantial differences across countries in the way women’s participation has been affected relative to that of men. In some countries, such as Colombia, Chile, and Cyprus, the gender gap in labor force participation widened the most during the pandemic. The gender gap also widened in the United States, driving 2.5 million women from their jobs in what Vice President Kamala Harris called a “national emergency†for women. In other economies, such as Luxembourg and Lithuania, the gender gap in labor force participation, unexpectedly, shrank during the early period of the pandemic. On average, female employees have fared better in countries where women are less concentrated in the services sector, less likely to be employed as temporary workers, and where laws supported greater equality at the onset of the crisis. Greater government expenditure on childcare in the pre-COVID-19 era, however, does not appear to have insulated female workers from the damaging repercussions of the pandemic.
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: Pascaline Dupas; Radhika Jain
    Abstract: Using administrative data on over 4 million hospital visits, we document striking gender disparities within a government health insurance program that entitles 46 million poor individuals to free hospital care in Rajasthan, India. Females account for only 33% of hospital visits among children and 43% among the elderly. These shares are lower for more expensive types of care, and far lower than sex differences in illness prevalence can explain. Almost two-thirds of non-childbirth spending is on males. We combine these data with patient survey, census, and electoral data to show that 1) the program is unable to fully offset the costs of care-seeking, which results in disparities in hospital utilization because some households are willing to allocate more resources to male than female health; 2) lowering costs does not reduce disparities, because males benefit as much as females do; and 3) long-term exposure to village-level female leaders reduces the gender gap in utilization, but effects are modest and limited to girls and young women. In the presence of gender bias, increasing access to and subsidizing social services may increase levels of female utilization but fail to address gender inequalities without actions that specifically target females.
    JEL: I12 I13 J16 O12
    Date: 2021–06
  3. By: Holmlund, Helena (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Rainer, Helmut (University of Munich); Reich, Patrick (ifo Institute)
    Abstract: Although geographical and temporal variations in gender achievement gaps have received considerable attention, the role of culture in explaining this variation is not well understood. We exploit a large Swedish administrative data set to study gender gaps in education among second-generation immigrant youth with different cultural backgrounds. Guided by hypotheses we derive from the economics literature on gender differences and gender convergence, we explore the predictive power of a set of cultural dimensions including achievement orientation, acceptance of inequality, risk avoidance, and long-term orientation. Our empirical strategy relies on within-family, cross-gender sibling comparisons, identifying culture's differential impact on girls relative to boys while netting out unobserved family heterogeneity. We find that the central cultural dimension that matters for gender gaps in student achievement is the extent to which a society emphasizes ambition, competition, and achievement, which is strongly predictive of a relative achievement disadvantage of girls compared with boys. Exploring factors that may explain the results, we find that parents from achievement-oriented cultures choose higher quality schools for their children, and that boys benefit more from exposure to higher quality schools than girls do. Using PISA data to probe external validity, we find qualitatively and quantitatively remarkably similar results in a very different sample of second-generation immigrant youth.
    Keywords: Culture; Achievement Orientation; Gender Gaps in Education
    JEL: J16 Z10
    Date: 2021–07–06
  4. By: Abby LeBlanc (Williams College); Stephen Sheppard (Williams College)
    Abstract: Women account for slightly more than half of persons who identify some version of visual artist (artist, graphic designer, or photographer) as their occupation in the US, and account for slightly less than half of the recipients of MFA degrees in the US. While there are no available statistics on values and sales of works by these artists in the primary market of galleries, studios and private dealers there is considerable evidence from the secondary auction market. In both our sample of more than 313 thousand works offered for sale by more than 1080 artists, and in the larger sample analyzed by Adams, et al. (2021), works by female artists constitute approximately 7% of the works offered for sale at global auction houses. The works sell for substantially lower prices, with unadjusted discounts generally in excess of 40%. Even adjusting for a variety of characteristics, the impacts of artist's gender remain persistently negative with effects disconcertingly close to, but slightly larger than, observed wage and earnings gaps in the wider labor market. Systematic differences in the auction prices of art works by women artist have been observed and discussed for more than 50 years, but have evolved little over time.As is the case with gender disparities in the wider labor market, the causes for these gaps can be difficult to determine with precision. This makes the identification of structural changes that could be effective in reducing the gap a challenge. In this paper we build on the published studies in this area and consider these challenges. We consider a variety of possible explanations including whether works by women artists are substantially different in characteristics or content than works by other artists, whether they are avoided by the premier auction houses, and whether they tend to fail to sell at auction more frequently. We consider alternative approaches to estimating the impact of artist's gender on the valuation of artworks. We compare the estimated impacts of gender to the estimated impacts of ethnicity and national origin of the artist. We combine the insights from this analysis to narrow down the range of possible explanations for why these differences continue to be observed.
    Keywords: Art markets, Gender, Discrimination, , ,
    JEL: Z11 J15 J16
    Date: 2021–07–02
  5. By: Raphael Bruce; Alexsandros Cavgias, Luis Meloni, Mario Remigio
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effect of women's public leadership in times of crisis. More specifically, we use a regression discontinuity design in close mayoral races between male and female candidates to understand the impact of having a woman as a mayor during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. We provide evidence that municipalities under female leadership had fewer deaths and hospitalizations per 100 thousand inhabitants and enforced more non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g., mask usage and prohibition of gatherings). We also show that these results are not due to measures taken before the pandemic or other observable mayoral characteristics such as education or political preferences. Finally, we provide evidence that these effects are stronger in municipalities where Brazil's far-right president, who publicly disavowed the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions, had a higher vote share in the 2018 election. Overall, our findings provide credible causal evidence that female leaders outperformed male ones when dealing with a global policy issue. Moreover, our results also showcase the role local leaders can play in counteracting bad policies implemented by populist leaders at the national level.
    Keywords: Gender; Politics; Health; COVID-19; Brazil
    JEL: J16 D72 D78 I18
    Date: 2021–07–13
  6. By: Alessandra Casarico; Salvatore Lattanzio
    Abstract: We study the short- and long-run impact of motherhood on labour market outcomes and explore the individual and firm-level factors that influence it. Using matched employer-employee data for Italy over 1985-2018, through an event study methodology around childbirth, we show that the long-run child penalty in annual earnings is 57 log points and it largely depends on the change in labour supply along the intensive margin. The birth of a child increases the probability of transition to non-employment, reduces the likelihood of having executive roles and increases that of working in firms with lower productivity, sales, capital and wages, providing evidence of sorting into worse firms after childbirth. In the heterogeneity analysis, we find that the child penalty is higher for young, low-wage mothers and those taking longer leaves. It is larger in firms with less generous pay, worse peers, in more gender-conservative regions and where childcare services are scarcer.
    Keywords: child penalty, motherhood, labour-supply, heterogeneous effects, matched employer-employee data
    JEL: J13 J16 J31
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Sonia Oreffice; Dario Sansone
    Abstract: We analyze differences in mode of transportation to work by sexual orientation, using the American Community Survey 2008-2019. Individuals in same-sex couples are significantly less likely to drive to work than men and women in different-sex couples. This gap is particularly stark among men: on average, almost 12 percentage point (or 13%) lower likelihood of driving to work for men in same-sex couples. Individuals in same-sex couples are also more likely to use public transport, walk, or bike to work: on average, men and women are 7 and 3 percentage points more likely, respectively, to take public transportation to work than those in different-sex couples. These differences persist after controlling for demographic characteristics, partner's characteristics, location, fertility, and marital status. Additional evidence from the General Social Survey 2008-2018 suggests that these disparities by sexual orientation may be due to lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals caring more for the environment than straight individuals.
    Date: 2021–07
  8. By: Knoester, Chris; Li, Qi; Petts, Richard
    Abstract: Abstract Using data on paid parental leave preferences from 35,488 adults situated within 26 different OECD countries, and multilevel modeling, this study examines public opinions about the provision of paid parental leave, some government funding of leave offerings, and preferred lengths of leave offerings. We consider how attitudes may be similar or different across social contexts and then focus upon the extent to which gender, gendered parenting role attitudes, family strains, and country-level institutionalized leave offerings are associated with leave preferences. The findings indicate that the vast majority of respondents are in favor of rather widespread and generous paid parental leave offerings; indeed, there are generally high levels of support for paid leave availability, relatively long paid leave offerings, and government funding of leaves. Gendered expectations and family strains are consistently associated with individuals’ leave preferences—even after accounting for country-level social contexts. Country-level offerings are also associated with leave preferences-- yet we find that the overwhelming majority of respondents express a desire for paid parental leave length offerings that are substantially different than the extant leave offerings in their country. Overall, this research complements previous work by newly documenting widespread public support for the provision of paid leave and some government funding of it. Also, it establishes that gendered expectations, family strains, and country-level practices are consistently associated with paid parental leave preferences in wealthy countries. Yet, substantial dissatisfaction with extant paid leave policies within countries seems to be commonplace.
    Date: 2021–06–23
  9. By: Drydakis, Nick (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Abstract: This meta-analysis utilizes 24 papers published between 2012-2020 that focus on earnings differences by sexual orientation. The papers cover the period between 1991 and 2018, and countries in Europe, North America and Australia. The meta-analysis indicates that gay men earned less than heterosexual men. Lesbian women earned more than heterosexual women, while bisexual men earned less than heterosexual men. Bisexual women earned less than heterosexual women. According to the meta-analysis, in data sets after 2010, gay men and bisexual men and women continue to experience earnings penalties, while lesbian women continue to experience earnings premiums. The meta-regression estimates indicate relationships between study characteristics and the estimated earnings effects for sexual minorities. For instance, regions, sexual minority data set sizes, and earnings classifications influence the outcomes. The persistence of earnings penalties for gay men and bisexual men and women in the face of anti-discrimination policies represents a cause for concern and indicates the need for comprehensive legislation and workplace guidelines to guarantee that people receive fair pay and not experience any form of workplace inequality simply because of their sexual orientation.
    Keywords: sexual orientation, discrimination, earnings
    JEL: C93 E24 J15 J16 J71
    Date: 2021–06
  10. By: Wenzhi Ding; Chen Lin; Thomas Schmid; Michael S. Weisbach
    Abstract: What makes independent directors perform their monitoring duty? One possible reason is that they are worried about being sanctioned by regulators if they do not monitor sufficiently well. Using unique features of the Chinese financial market, we estimate the extent to which independent directors’ perceptions of the likelihood of receiving a regulatory penalty affect their monitoring. Our results suggest that they are more likely to vote against management after observing how another director in their board network received a regulatory penalty related to negligence. This effect is long-lasting and stronger if the observing and penalized directors share the same professional background or gender and if the observing director is at a firm that is more likely to be penalized. These results provide direct evidence suggesting that the possibility of receiving penalties is an important factor motivating directors.
    JEL: G34 G38
    Date: 2021–06
  11. By: Durevall, Dick (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: In 1995, Colombia signed the first legally binding international treaty that criminalizes all forms of violence against women. After this, the government took a number of steps to improve laws and policies, but progress was slow. This paper employs a differences-in differences approach and Demographic and Health Surveys from 2010 and 2015 to estimate the impact of a renewed effort to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV), based on recommendations by the UN. To identify the effect of the national policies, it uses the fact that while the central government passes laws and formulates policies, it partly relies on departments (provinces) to implement them. Of Colombia’s 33 departments, about a quarter had a gender policy in place by 2010. The main finding is that self-reported physical violence decreased from 20% to 16% between 2010 and 2015 in departments that had implemented IPV policies, while it stayed at 18% in the others.
    Keywords: gender policy; domestic violence; physical violence; sexual violence; unfaithfulness
    JEL: I18 J12 K36
    Date: 2021–07
  12. By: Sayli Javadekar (University of Bath); Kritika Saxena (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: How is prenatal sex selective behaviour influenced by the presence of cheap fetal gender identification technology and financial incentives? We analyze a conditional cash transfer program in India called Janani Suraksha Yojna. By providing access to prenatal sex detection technology like the ultrasound scans, and simultaneously providing cash incentives to both households and community health workers for every live birth, this program altered existing trends in prenatal sex selection. Using difference-in-differences and triple difference estimators we find that the policy led to an increase in female births. This improvement comes at a cost, as we observe an increase in under-5 mortality for girls born at higher birth orders, indicating a shift in discrimination against girls from pre-natal to post-natal. Our calculations show that the net effect of the policy was that nearly 300,000 more girls survived in treatment households between 2006 and 2015. Finally, we find that the role played by community health workers in facilitating the program is a key driver of the decline in prenatal sex selection.
    Keywords: Sex selection; gender; health; India; missing girls; prenatal sex detection; sex-selection; community health workers
    JEL: J13 J16 I12 I28
    Date: 2021–07–02

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