nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
six papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Institutet för Arbetsmarknads- och Utbildningspolitisk Utvärdering

  1. Mind the gap – an analysis of gender differences in mathematics and science achievement in South Africa By Rebekka Rühle
  2. From Gender Equality to Household Earnings Equality: the role of Women's Labour Market Outcomes across OECD Countries By Nolan, Brian; Azzollini, Leo; Breen, Richard
  3. The Summer Drop in Female Employment By Brendan M. Price; Melanie Wasserman
  4. Fintech, Female Employment, and Gender Inequality By Mr. Boileau Loko; Yuanchen Yang
  5. Does Information Affect Homophily? By Yana Gallen; Melanie Wasserman
  6. School drop out and farm input subsidies: gender and kinship heterogeneity in Malawi By Martin Mwale; Dieter von Fintel; Anja Smith

  1. By: Rebekka Rühle
    Abstract: This paper studies gender differences in mathematics and science achievement using the most recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) data from 2019. Moreover, since grade repetition and dropouts are very common in South Africa and affect the magnitude of gender gaps, the first part of the analysis studies current gender differences in grade repetition and dropout. The descriptive analysis shows that South African boys are more likely to repeat a grade and to drop out of school compared to South African girls. Furthermore, girls outperform boys on average in mathematics and science, both in Grade 5 and 9, but the pro-girl gap is smaller in Grade 9. This suggests that the pro-girl advantage declines at higher grades. Another focus of the paper is to identify potential sources of the gender gaps besides the South African specific factors. This section finds that part of the pro-girl gap in Grades 5 and 9 can be attributed to the female advantage in school progression. Thus, without controlling for gender differences in over-age and dropouts by creating more comparable groups one would bias gender gaps in achievement. Furthermore, this paper shows that there are significant gender differences in attitudes towards mathematics and school in general and some are correlated with the gender differences in achievement. The multivariate analysis employing an ordinary least squares regression with interaction effects and school fixed effects shows that most considered interaction effects are not statistically significant in Grade 5, but several ones are significant in Grade 9. For example, ninth-grade girls are less affected by weekly bullying than their male peers, but value mathematics less. Although the results are an important step towards understanding the female advantage in mathematics and science, we need more studies that explain why girls are less likely to enrol in STEM degrees and why the pro-girl advantage in education does not result in a female advantage in the labour market. Moreover, the results show clearly that South African girls and boys face different challenges during their school careers, which both need equal attention.
    Keywords: gender inequality, STEM, mathematics performance, science performance, school dropout, repetition, attitudes, South Africa
    JEL: C21 I20 I21 I24 J16
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Nolan, Brian; Azzollini, Leo; Breen, Richard
    Abstract: How does gender equality in the labour market decrease household earnings inequality? Despite being prominent in the research literature on economic inequality, there is no consensus about the mechanisms underlying this relationship. In this paper, we assess the impact that full gender equality in the labour market would have on earnings inequality, and then decompose that impact by closing separately the gender gaps in employment, hours, and pay. We do so by applying a novel approach that combines reweighting and counterfactual analyses to LIS and OECD data for 26 OECD countries, across North America, Europe, and Australia. We find that full equality in earnings and employment between women and men would decrease household earnings inequality considerably. The most substantial decreases come from closing the gender employment gap, as opposed to gender gaps in pay and hours worked. A 10% counterfactual decrease in the gender employment gap (relative to the country baseline) is associated with an average 1.2% decrease in household earnings inequality. This points to reducing the gender employment gap as the pathway through which greater gender equality may most strongly mitigate overall earnings inequality, with the significant implication that two key goals for contemporary societies can be pursued simultaneously.
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Brendan M. Price; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: We provide the first systematic account of summer declines in women’s labor market activity. From May to July, the employment-to-population ratio among prime-age US women declines by 1.1 percentage points, whereas male employment rises; women’s total hours worked fall by 11 percent, twice the decline among men. School closures for summer break−and corresponding lapses in implicit childcare−provide a unifying explanation for these patterns. The summer drop in female employment aligns with cross-state differences in the timing of school closures, is concentrated among mothers with young school-age children, and coincides with increased time spent engaging in childcare. Decomposing the gender gap in summer work interruptions across job types defined by sector and occupation, we find large contributions from both gender differences in job allocation and gender differences within jobs in the propensity to exit employment over the summer. Summer childcare constraints may contribute to gender gaps in career choice and earnings: women−particularly those with young school-age children−disproportionately work in the education sector, which offers greater summer flexibility but lower compensation relative to comparable jobs outside of education.
    Keywords: gender gap, seasonality, labor force participation, childcare, time use, school closure
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J24
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Mr. Boileau Loko; Yuanchen Yang
    Abstract: Fintech, which delivers financial services digitally, promises to promote financial inclusion and close the gender gap. Using a novel fintech dataset for 114 economies worldwide, this paper shows that fintech adoption significantly improves female employment and reduces gender inequality, the effect being more pronounced in firms without traditional financial access. Fintech not only increases the number and ratio of female employees in the workforce, but also mitigates financial constraints of female-headed firms. Digital divide and poor institutions weaken such benefits. Endogeneity is accounted for by a fixed effects identification strategy. We conclude by providing policy recommendations and outlining avenues for future research.
    Keywords: Fintech; Gender Inequality; Employment
    Date: 2022–06–03
  5. By: Yana Gallen; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: It is common for mentorship programs to use race, gender, and nationality to match mentors and mentees. Despite the popularity of these programs, there is little evidence on whether mentees value mentors with shared traits. Using novel administrative data from an online college mentoring platform connecting students and alumni, we document that female students indeed disproportionately reach out to female mentors. We investigate whether female students make costly trade-offs in order to access a female mentor. By eliciting students’ preferences over mentor attributes, we find that female students are willing to trade off occupational match in order to access a female mentor. This willingness to pay for female mentors declines to zero when information on mentor quality is provided. The evidence suggests that female students use mentor gender to alleviate information problems, but do not derive direct utility from it. We discuss the implications of these results for the design of initiatives that match on shared traits.
    Keywords: homophily, mentorship, preference elicitation, gender
    JEL: J16 J24 J71
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Martin Mwale (Department of Economics and Research on Socioeconomic Policy (ReSEP), Stellenbosch University); Dieter von Fintel (Department of Economics and Research on Socioeconomic Policy (ReSEP), Stellenbosch University); Anja Smith (Department of Economics and Research on Socioeconomic Policy (ReSEP), Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: An emerging interdisciplinary literature explores how kinship practices affect household resource allocation through efficiency of production and consumption. This paper focuses on a key gender norm - how a resource transfer to households affects school drop out of girls relative to boys, under different kinship practices. Specifically, we investigate how Malawi's farm input subsidy programme affects gendered school drop out across matrilineal and patrilineal communities. Because of matrilineal practices, girls facilitate the inter-generational transfer of wealth in these communities. They inherit property and often \emph{co-reside} with their parents after marriage, taking care of the parents in their old age. Boys undertake a similar duty in patrilineal communities. Our results indicate that school drop out decreases among girls who live in matrilineal households that participate in the subsidy programme. However, the impact is limited to matrilineal communities where couples reside in women's birth home-matrilocal home. School drop out is not affected by FISP receipt in patrilocal communities, where couples settle in the natal home of men. Furthermore, expenditure on schooling increases among matrilocal girls whose household receive FISP, and girls residing in the matrilocal communities experience a reduction in time spent on domestic chores once their household receives the subsidy. Our results suggest that a resource transfer to households reduces gender gaps in school drop out only in communities where investment in women is more valued by traditional practices than the investment in men.
    Keywords: School drop out, Gender, Subsidy, Malawi, Sub-Sahara
    JEL: A13 D13 D33 I24
    Date: 2022

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