nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2022‒01‒24
five papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Institutet för Arbetsmarknads- och Utbildningspolitisk Utvärdering

  1. Women and Motivation to Compete: The Role of Advantages. By Braut, Beatrice
  2. Time Use and Gender in Africa in Times of Structural Transformation By Taryn Dinkelman; L. Rachel Ngai
  3. Gender Roles and Relationships: Khmer Ethnic Minority Women’s Participation in Water Management By Pham Tran Lan Phuong; Nguyen Van Thai
  4. Motherhood and flexible jobs By Inés Berniell; Lucila Berniell; Dolores de la Mata; María Edo; Mariana Marchionni
  5. Telework, Childcare, and Mothers’ Labor Supply By Misty Heggeness; Palak Suri

  1. By: Braut, Beatrice (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This work investigates the stability of the gender gap in competitiveness and tests a possible mechanism that influences it. Subjects play bargaining games where the two roles differ by decision contest - one has an advantageous position - and by the extreme values of their possible payment - the more advantaged can earn more. For all the experiment subjects are randomly assigned to be in the advantaged role or not. Competition takes place between subjects who are in the same role and it is based on their payoff in the bargaining. By comparing competitive behaviour of subjects assigned to the advantaged role or not, the experiment identifies the effect of having advantages, given the remaining factors. The main result is that when in the advantaged position, behaviour is more rational and does not differ by gender, while when not the gender gap in competitiveness exists and it causes inefficiencies. Giving an advantageous role makes men with low performances in the game competing less and women with high performances doing it more, closing down the total gender gap. This finding helps to explain the competitiveness gap and provides insights on which are the characteristics of the context that make competition detrimental for gender parity and also for efficiency.
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: Taryn Dinkelman; L. Rachel Ngai
    Abstract: Many African countries are still in the early stages of structural transformation. Typically, as economies move through the structural transformation, activities once conducted within the household are outsourced to the market. This has particular implications for women’s time use. In this paper, we document that current patterns of female time use in home production in several African countries closely resemble historical time use patterns in the US. We highlight two stylized facts about women’s time use in Africa. First, in North Africa, women spend very few hours in market work and female labor force participation overall is extremely low. Second, although extensive margin participation of women is high in sub-Saharan Africa, women tend to work in the market for only a few hours each week, with the rest of their work hours spent in home production. These two facts suggest two types of constraints that could slow down the reallocation of female time from home to market as economies grow: Social norms related to women’s market work, and a lack of infrastructure (e.g. household infrastructure and childcare facilities) to facilitate marketizing home production. We discuss recent empirical evidence related to each set of constraints and highlight new avenues for research.
    JEL: D13 J22 O11 O12 O55
    Date: 2021–12
  3. By: Pham Tran Lan Phuong; Nguyen Van Thai
    Abstract: O Lam Commune in Tri Ton District, An Giang Province in Vietnam experiences serious water shortages all year round, especially in the dry season. Moreover, owing to its mountainous topography, the local people, especially women, face numerous challenges in accessing water for domestic use. Unfortunately, although women are globally considered the main actors in water management, they are often excluded from planning, formulating, and implementing management policies. This study, therefore, examined gender issues in relation to water use and management of Khmer men and women in four villages of O Lam Commune. Interviews, focus group discussions, and Participatory Rural Appraisal tools were conducted in Phuoc Loc, Phuoc Loi, Phuoc Tho, and Phuoc Long villages. The results reveal the relationship between gender roles and the physical environment, particularly upland rice farming systems. Women primarily manage water in the household; consequently, lack of access to water affects them more significantly than men. Furthermore, since they travel longer distances and carry heavy loads of water, they spend more time collecting water. This reduces the time they have to fulfill their reproductive roles and partake in income-generating activities. In addition, women face several barriers that limit their participation in decision-making in water management projects. These barriers include traditional norms that assign and expect men to be the dominant decision makers; high illiteracy levels among women; and women’s lack of time to participate in water-related project activities due to their reproductive and productive roles, such as labor inputs in agriculture. This study recommends that water-related policies and projects should ensure gender equality in increasing access to water resources and building capacity training programs. Women’s participation in water-related activities will enhance their knowledge and provide them with various platforms to share their perspectives on water use and management.
    Keywords: Khmer ethnic minority women, women’s participation and decision-making, gender relations to water, reproductive and productive gendered roles, water management, gender equality, Vietnam
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Inés Berniell (CEDLAS/UNLP); Lucila Berniell (CAF); Dolores de la Mata (CAF); María Edo (Universidad de San Andrés); Mariana Marchionni (CEDLAS/CONICET)
    Abstract: We study the causal effect of motherhood on labour market outcomes in Latin America. We adopt an event study approach around the birth of the first child based on panel data from national household surveys for Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. Our main contributions are: (i)providing new and comparable evidence on the effects of motherhood on labour outcomes in developing countries; (ii) exploring the possible mechanisms driving these outcomes; (iii) discussing the potential links between these outcomes and the prevailing gender norms and family policies in the region. We find that motherhood reduces women’s labour supply in the extensive and intensive margins and influences female occupational structure towards flexible occupations— part-time work, self-employment, and informal jobs—needed for family–work balance. Furthermore, countries with more conservative gender norms and less generous family policies are associated with larger differences between mothers’ and non-mothers’ labour market outcomes.
    Keywords: child penalty, event study, female labour supply, self-employment, labour informality, developing countries, Latin America
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J46
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Misty Heggeness; Palak Suri
    Abstract: We study the impact of increased pandemic-related childcare responsibilities on custodial mothers by telework compatibility of their job. We estimate changes in employment outcomes of these mothers in a difference-in-difference framework relative to prime-age women without children and a triple-difference framework relative to prime-age custodial fathers. Mothers' labor force participation decreased between 0.1 to 1.5 percentage points (ppts) relative to women without dependent children and 0.3 to 2.0 ppts compared to custodial fathers. Conditional on being in the labor force, the probability of being unemployed fell by 0.7 ppts relative to childless women. Conditional on being employed, leave take-up increased by 0.7 ppts. These patterns were especially prominent among custodial mothers with a college degree or higher in telework-compatible jobs. Compared to women without children, mothers working as teachers and white-collar workers disproportionately left the labor market at the end of the 2020-2021 virtual school year. These mothers likely struggled balancing remote work while simultaneously supporting their children's virtual schooling needs. The disparity between mothers and fathers widened over time, indicating the prevalence of inequality in sharing household duties even today. By the start of the 2021-2022 school year, eighteen months after the pandemic began, mothers' employment was still adversely impacted by childcare disruptions. Our findings emphasize that while flexible work has been shown to increase women's labor supply, it is not sufficient to ensure continued and increasing levels of women's labor force participation if accessible and affordable childcare is unavailable while they work for pay.
    Keywords: Labor supply; Gender telework; Difference-in-difference
    JEL: D10 J16 J22
    Date: 2021–11–16

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