nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
five papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. All about the money ? The gendered effect of education on industrial and occupational sorting By Lepinteur, Anthony; Nieto, Adrían
  2. Does a stereotype benefit women in the labor market: An experiment on perseverance By Haeckl, Simone; Kartal, Melis
  3. Gender Quotas and Task Assignment in Organizations By José J. Domínguez; Natalia Montinari
  4. Women's Land Rights and Village Institutions in Tanzania By Garance Genicot; Maria Hernandez de Benito
  5. Do Boys and Girls Perform Better at Math Just Studying More ? By Eleonora Matteazzi; Martina Menon; Federico Perali

  1. By: Lepinteur, Anthony; Nieto, Adrían
    Abstract: Using the UK 1972 compulsory education reform as a natural experiment, we isolate the effect of education on occupational and industrial sorting. More education leads to greater probabilities of working in the public administration and non-manual occupations for men and in the health and education industries for women. We find that men may shift towards non-manual occupations to work in high-paying jobs. In contrast, men may relocate into the public administration and women into the health and education industries because more educated workers place more importance into non-pecuniary job dimensions. These gender differences may be widening the gender wage gap.
    Keywords: 1972 reform, returns to education, worker sorting, career choices, non-pecuniary preferences
    Date: 2021–10
  2. By: Haeckl, Simone (University of Stavanger); Kartal, Melis (WU Vienna)
    Abstract: We design a novel real-effort experiment to investigate gender differences and stereotypes regarding perseverance and how these affect employment decisions. We find that women are more persistent than men and that the subjects anticipate this difference. While it pays off, in expectation, to hire a female over a male candidate in our experimental employment setting, employers are not more likely to hire a female candidate. Thus, even in a setting where female candidates are statistically better workers and employers hold a positive stereotype about women, employers do not hire women more often than men. This finding contrasts with studies showing that men do benefit from positive stereotypes associated with them, and suggests that stereotypes might be more beneficial for men than for women.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills; perseverance; conscientiousness; gender and stereotypes; labor market experiment
    JEL: C91 J16 J71
    Date: 2021–12–07
  3. By: José J. Domínguez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Natalia Montinari (Department of Economics, University of Bologna.)
    Abstract: In response to the slow progress toward gender equality observed in the last decades, organizations and policy makers in many countries are increasingly looking at implementing quotas to close the gender gap. However, the expected benefits and potential drawbacks of such interventions are widely debated. We ran a laboratory experiment to investigate how gender quotas in hiring affect the allocation of workers into different tasks within an organization. 128 participants in the role of employers were asked to hire a team of six workers from a pool of 15 and assign them to one of two tasks which differed in complexity and profitability. Employers had information about workers’ age, gender, and university major as well as a signal of performance. Workers assigned to the Simple Task had to complete additions, while workers assigned to the Challenging Task had to solve mathematical problems. Although no gender difference was observable in the performance of either task, in the absence of quotas, high-ability women were both less likely to be hired and less likely to be assigned to the Challenging Task compared to high-ability men. With a quota of 50% female workers imposed on hiring, the number of women assigned to the Simple Task increased, while the number of those assigned to the Challenging Task remained significantly lower compared to men. Our findings suggest that gender quotas to increase the number of women hired may backfire, resulting in their more likely assignment to less-challenging, low-promotability tasks compared to men, and impairing their chances of career advancement. Moreover, we find that in the presence of a gender quota employers’ earnings are significantly lower, and that this is because they are more likely to hire lowability women. One explanation could be that gender quotas convey a message which suggests the overall low quality of the pool of female workers.
    Keywords: Affirmative action, gender quotas, gender gap, task assignment, laboratory experiments.
    JEL: D03 C91 J71
    Date: 2021–12–02
  4. By: Garance Genicot (Department of Economics, Georgetown University); Maria Hernandez de Benito (University of Alicante)
    Abstract: Strengthening women's ownership of and control over land is an important development goal. This paper studies the extent of women's land rights in rural Tanzania and how patrilineal norms affect them. We show that married women in rural Tanzania still own little land without their husbands and have limited rights over the jointly owned land. In Tanzania, an inherent tension lies in the recognition of customary laws that explicitly discriminate against women and statutory laws that establish equal rights for men and women. Customary patrilineal practices persist. In particular, we find that firstborn sons are expected to inherit more land than firstborn daughters, and widows' inheritance rights are affected by the gender of their children. We also show that women's tenure security in case of divorce or inheritance is fragile. In Tanzania, village institutions play a key role in the management of land rights and the mediation of land disputes. We find that members of village institutions have more pro-women views on land rights than the average household respondent. However, using randomized vignettes to measure gender bias, we show they do not always make gender-neutral recommendations in case of land disputes. Classification- O17, O12, D13, K11
    Keywords: Tanzania, Gender, Land Rights, Inheritance, Institutions, Vignettes
    Date: 2021–11–05
  5. By: Eleonora Matteazzi; Martina Menon; Federico Perali
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of effort on mathematics performance of boys and girls, an aspect that may contribute to our understanding of the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields in college. We exploit a remarkably rich primary data set to estimate a simultaneous equations model of mathematics attainment and students’ effort. Our estimation strategy infers causal relations by relying on an instrumental variable approach validated using weak-instruments-robust confidence sets and partial identification techniques. The results show that study effort plays a different role in the math performance of girls and boys. If a boy dedicates one extra hour to study, his math grade increases by 1 point on a 10-point scale. Differently, an additional hour of home study does not have an effect on girls’ math performance, though, in our sample, on average, girls perform significantly better than boys in math. We also examine the role played by peers, the quality of the attended school, and family socio-economic background. These factors mainly affect math achievement only indirectly through student’s effort. Validity tests suggest that our results are not confounded by unobservable heterogeneity. Our findings suggest that asking girls for additional efforts may not be effective to bridge the gender gap in STEM.
    Keywords: Mathematics, effort, gender inequality, peer effects, school quality
    Date: 2021

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