nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2022‒09‒12
eleven papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Institutet för Arbetsmarknads- och Utbildningspolitisk Utvärdering

  1. Closing the gender STEM gap. A large-scale randomized-controlled trial in elementary schools By Grosch, Kerstin; Haeckl, Simone; Kocher , Martin G.
  2. The multiple dimensions of selection into employment By Kenza Elass
  3. COVID-19 and the Gender Gap in University Student Performance By Bratti, Massimiliano; Lippo, Enrico
  4. Pitfalls of pay transparency: Evidence from the lab and the field By Katharina Brütt; Huaiping Yuan
  5. Family, External Environment and Gender Attitudes: Evidence from Students' Survey By Tendai Zawaira; Matthew W. Clance; Carolyn Chisadza
  6. When the Kids Grow Up: Women's Employment and Earnings across the Family Cycle By Claudia Goldin; Sari Pekkala Kerr; Claudia Olivetti
  7. Missing women in Colonial India By Fenske, James; Gupta, Bishnupriya; Neumann, Cora
  8. Intra-couple wealth inequality: What's demographics got to do with it? By Rehm, Miriam; Schneebaum, Alyssa; Schuster, Barbara
  9. Sexual objectification of women in media and the gender wage gap: Does exposure to objectifying pictures lower the reservation wage? By Carlsson, Fredrik; Kataria, Mitesh; Lampi, Elina
  10. Who pays the child penalty? Evidence from the panel study of income dynamics By Emery, Jamie M.
  11. Cracks in the Boards: The Opportunity Cost of Governance Homogeneity By Helene Maghin

  1. By: Grosch, Kerstin (WU Vienna University of Economics); Haeckl, Simone (University of Stavanger); Kocher , Martin G. (University of Vienna & University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: We examine individual-level determinants of interest in STEM and analyze whether a digital web application for elementary-school children can increase children’s interest in STEM with a specific focus on narrowing the gender gap. Coupling a randomized-controlled trial with experimental lab and survey data, we analyze the effect of the digital intervention and shed light on the mechanisms. We confirm the hypothesis that girls demonstrate a lower overall interest in STEM than boys. Moreover, girls are less competitive and exhibit less pronounced math confidence than boys at the baseline. Our treatment increases girls’ interest in STEM and decreases the gender gap via an increase in STEM confidence. Our findings suggest that an easy-to-implement digital intervention has the potential to foster gender equality for young children and can potentially contribute to a reduction of gender inequalities in the labor market such as occupational sorting and the gender wage gap later in life.
    Keywords: STEM; digital intervention; gender equality; field experiment
    JEL: C93 D91 I24 J16 J24
    Date: 2022–08–19
  2. By: Kenza Elass (Aix-Marseille Université, AMSE)
    Abstract: A vast literature on gender wage gaps has examined the importance of selection into employment. However, most analyses have focused only on female labor-force participation and gaps at the median. The Great Recession questions this approach, not only because of the major shift in male employment that it implied but also because women’s decision to participate seems to have been different along the distribution, particularly because of an “added worker effect”. This presentation uses the methodology proposed by Arellano and Bonhomme (2017) to estimate a quantile selection model over the period 2007–2018. Using a tax and benefit microsimulation model, I compute an instrument capturing the male selection induced by the crisis as well as female decisions: the potential out-of-work income. Because my instrument is crucially determined by the welfare state, I consider three countries with notably different benefit systems—the U.K., France, and Finland. My results imply different selection patterns across countries and a sizeable male selection in France and the U.K. Correction for selection bias lowers the gender wage gap and, in recent years, reveals an increasing shape of the gender gap distribution with a substantial glass ceiling for the three countries.
    Date: 2022–08–01
  3. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Lippo, Enrico (University of Milan)
    Abstract: The gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been observed in many domains, such as labor market outcomes and mental health. One sector that was particularly disrupted by the pandemic was education, owing to the need to close educational institutions and move all learning activities online. In this paper, we investigate the gender gap in university student performance, focusing on a large public university located in one of the European regions most affected by the first pandemic wave (Lombardy, in Northern Italy). Despite concerns that the pandemic might have had a heavier toll on the educational performance of female students, our empirical analysis shows that the gender gap in student progression (number of credits earned) was not affected by the pandemic and that in some college majors (social sciences and humanities) women even improved their GPA relative to men.
    Keywords: COVID-19, university, student performance, gender gap
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2022–07
  4. By: Katharina Brütt (University of Amsterdam); Huaiping Yuan (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Wage transparency regulation is widely considered and adopted as a tool to reduce the gender wage gap. We combine field and laboratory evidence to address how and when wage transparency can be effective and explore the role of belief adjustments as a mechanism. In the field, this paper studies a German wage transparency policy that allows employees to request wage information of comparable employees. Exploiting variation across firm size and time, we first provide causal evidence that this regulation does not affect the gender wage gap. In an online laboratory experiment, we study whether the failure of this policy hinges on two aspects: (1) the endogenous availability of wage information, and (2) the absence of performance information. Our data underline the importance of both factors. In contrast to endogenously acquired wage information, exogenously provided wage information does increase overall wages. So does the provision of performance information. However, none of these types of information reduce the gender wage gap. Wage information even deters women from entering negotiations.
    Keywords: Gender pay gap, Negotiations, Transparency
    JEL: J08 J16 J31 C91
    Date: 2022–08–23
  5. By: Tendai Zawaira (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa); Matthew W. Clance (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa); Carolyn Chisadza (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa)
    Abstract: We use student survey data to investigate the role of family and environmental influences in shaping gender attitudes within young adults. Our main objective is to test if there is correlation between explicit and implicit gender attitudes amongst this group. We found that although levels of implicit bias (note that we define implicit bias as a stronger association towards men with careers and women with family or higher positive IAT scores.) vary systematically with other demographic characteristics, there is not a consistent correlation between implicit and explicit gender attitudes. We also found that females hold more rigid implicit traditional gender role ideology compared to the males even though females are more likely than males to explicitly lobby for gender equality. We also show that to some degree, the media in its current state has helped reinforce rather than challenge traditional gender role ideology. Individuals who spend more time on social media were found to have more implicit bias than those who spend less time on these platforms. Overall, these results suggest that in order to effectively tackle gender inequality, a wider policy approach is required, one that can address some of these factors that contribute to gender unequal outcomes.
    Date: 2022–08
  6. By: Claudia Goldin; Sari Pekkala Kerr; Claudia Olivetti
    Abstract: Women earn less than men, and that is especially true of mothers relative to fathers. Much of the widening occurs after family formation when mothers reduce their hours of work. But what happens when the kids grow up? To answer that question, we estimate three earning gaps: the “motherhood penalty,” the “price of being female,” and the “fatherhood premium.” When added together these three produce the “parental gender gap,” defined as the difference in income between mothers and fathers. We estimate earnings gaps for two education groups (college graduates and high school graduates who did not complete college) using longitudinal data from the NLSY79 that tracks respondents from their twenties to their fifties. As the children grow up and as women work more hours, the motherhood penalty is greatly reduced, especially for the less-educated group. But fathers manage to expand their relative gains, particularly among college graduates. The parental gender gap in earnings remains substantial for both education groups.
    JEL: J01 J16 J31
    Date: 2022–08
  7. By: Fenske, James (University of Warwick); Gupta, Bishnupriya (University of Warwick); Neumann, Cora (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We construct novel data on female population shares by age, district, and religion in South Asia from 1881 to 1931. Sex ratios skew male in Northern India and are more balanced in Southern and Eastern India, including Burma. Male-biased sex ratios emerge most visibly after age 10, and this is not specific to any one region, religion, or time period. Sikhs have the most male-biased sex ratios, followed by Hindus, Muslims, and Jains. The female share correlates across religious groups within districts. Evidence that sex ratios correlate with suitability for wheat and rice is weaker than suggested by the existing literature.
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Rehm, Miriam; Schneebaum, Alyssa; Schuster, Barbara
    Abstract: Existing literature shows that on average and across countries, men have higher levels of wealth than women. However, very little is known about the gender-specific wealth gap within couples. This paper studies this phenomenon. The particular focus of the paper is on the relationship between the demographic characteristics of the couple and the couple's gender wealth gap. We focus on how age, education, marital status, fertility, and migration background are related to the wealth gap within a couple. In both univariate and multivariate analyses, we find that the strongest demographic predictors of an intra-couple wealth gap are the age gap between the members of the couple; the highest level of education; and the composition of migration background in the couple. The gender wealth gap is particularly high in couples with a native-born man and a foreign-born woman.
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Kataria, Mitesh (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Lampi, Elina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Using an online experiment, we investigate the influence of sexual objectification in media on economic decision making. In the experiment, subjects are asked to evaluate advertisements in women’s magazines. In the treatment groups, the ads portray women in sexually objectifying poses, while the poses are neutral in the control group. The main research hypothesis is that sexual objectification tends to make women self-objectify, i.e., they internalize the view of the objectifying images, and as a result, they lower their reservation wage. We find that women in the treatment groups do self-objectify: Women who were exposed to the objectifying images described themselves with words related to body shape or size significantly more often than women in the control group. Adding a warning text about the fact that photoshopped images can create unrealistic body ideals did not mitigate the self-objectification. However, we do not find any effect of the sexual objectification on women’s reservation wages. If we take the results at face value, they do suggest that the objectification of women in media, while having important psychological and emotional effects, does not seem to affect women’s economic behavior, at least not directly.
    Keywords: online experiment; sexual objectification; media; economic decision making
    JEL: C91 J16
    Date: 2022–08
  10. By: Emery, Jamie M.
    Abstract: The impact of children on the labour market outcomes ofwomen relative to men (the "child penalty") is well-documented, yet there is a paucity of evidence on the mechanisms behind it. I use 50 years of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to explore the importance of gendered norms and preferences and present three main findings. First, there is extensive heterogeneity in the penalty across groups ofwomen, but not men, based on their race, marital status, and birth cohort. Second, there is a strong link between the penalty and individual-level gender-related beliefs. Third, women who grew up in households with a less traditional division of labour exhibit a smaller penalty when they have children. Taken together, my findings demonstrate that gender norms are a key driver of the penalty.
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Helene Maghin
    Abstract: Does the composition of governance affect firm outcomes? We exploit the timings and thresholds of a gender quota in boards of directors and supervisory boards to causally determine the impact of a change in leadership on performance. Using a novel design and data on boards, we find that firms forced to comply with the 2011 gender quota in France increased their profit margin by 5.4 percent relative to firms with unchanged boards thereby limiting diminishing profitability. We identify a shift in their cost structure away from purchasing of services such as out-sourcing and sub-contracting. In particular, we find evidence that firms change the type and the amount of external short-contract workers they hire. The decision to employ a lower amount of more qualified temporary workers is optimal as the firms’ revenue grows. This in part reflects the importance of using domestic labour outsourcing to flexibly adjust to demand changes. We show that our effects are nearly entirely explained by the first newcomer in the board. The persistence of our estimates provide evidence for its role in updating knowledge. We find that the law is associated with the diversification of boards in terms of gender but also of nationality, age and links with other firms. The added value of within-board and network diversity suggest a sizable opportunity cost of governance homogeneity for performance.
    Date: 2022

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