nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2023‒02‒27
six papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Institutet för Arbetsmarknads- och Utbildningspolitisk Utvärdering

  1. Gender Gaps and Family Policies in Latin America By Estefanía Galván; Cecilia Parada; Martina Querejeta; Soledad Salvador
  2. How is global commerce affecting the gender composition of employment? A firm-level analysis of the effects of exposure to gender norms via trade and FDI By Carolina Lennon; Alyssa Schneebaum
  3. The Impact of the "Coding Girls" Program on High School Students' Educational Choices By Basiglio, Stefania; Del Boca, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara D.
  4. When Women Take All: Direct Election and Female Leadership By Davide Cipullo
  5. Discrimination in the Formation of Academic Networks: A Field Experiment on #EconTwitter By Ajzenman, Nicolas; Ferman, Bruno; Sant’Anna, Pedro C.
  6. What Drives Paternity Leave: Financial Incentives or Flexibility? By Ziegler, Lennart; Bamieh, Omar

  1. By: Estefanía Galván (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Cecilia Parada (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Martina Querejeta (Universidad de la República (Uruguay)); Soledad Salvador (Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios sobre el Desarrollo, Uruguay)
    Abstract: Gender equality in the labor market remains a difficult challenge in Latin America and recent literature shows that child penalties play an important role in explaining these gaps. While policies to address gaps related to parenthood were introduced in recent decades, evidence of its effects is still scarce. This paper presents comparable evidence on the adoption of family legislation in 15 Latin American countries and discusses its relationship with the evolution of the gender labor gaps and the prevailing gender norms. We document that from 2000 to 2019 almost all countries increased the weeks covered by family leaves. Following a similar approach to that of Olivetti and Petrongolo (2017), exploiting the variations over time and controlling for country and year-fixed effects, we find that the extension of maternity and paternity leaves has a positive effect on female employment and contributes to reduce employment gaps, in particular in those countries which departed from a worse situation in terms of family policies coverage and which have more traditional perceptions of gender roles. On the other hand, our results suggest that in countries with more gender egalitarian perceptions, the extension of family leaves contributes to reduce the income gaps.
    Keywords: J13, J16, H53
    Date: 2022–08
  2. By: Carolina Lennon (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Alyssa Schneebaum (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Global firms have a higher share of female employees than domestic non-exporters. To explain this fact, this paper tests whether international trade and FDI are channels through which norms regarding gender (in)equality are transmitted from customers and investors to firms. We employ pooled cross-sectional data from 2007 - 2016 for around 28, 000 firms in 104 different countries. We compare global versus non-global firms in the same market to study the infuence of firms' exposure to gender norms in commercial partner countries. The results show a race to the top for low- and mid-level jobs and the opposite for top managerial positions.
    Keywords: globalization, international trade, FDI, gender, transmission of social norms
    JEL: F66 D22 F42 J16
    Date: 2023–02
  3. By: Basiglio, Stefania (University of Bari); Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin); Pronzato, Chiara D. (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of "Coding Girls", an educational enrichment program designed to address the underrepresentation of women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in Italy by stimulating young female students' interest in programming and science and encouraging them to consider careers in STEM-related fields. Implemented in ten secondary schools in Turin (Italy) over the period 2019-2022, the Coding Girls program provided lab-based computer programming instruction as well as introductory talks on specific topics in STEM. The program was evaluated by randomized controlled trial. Our results show that Coding Girls had a significant and positive impact on male and female students' programming skills and on their awareness of gender differences in the workforce. However, it did not seem to affect girls' aspirations to pursue higher education in STEM-related disciplines. The gender stereotypes children are exposed to from a very young age tend to steer girls and young women to the humanities. This bias is deeply entrenched and difficult to modify.
    Keywords: gender, STEM, higher educational choice
    JEL: J16 I23
    Date: 2023–01
  4. By: Davide Cipullo
    Abstract: This paper investigates how direct election regimes (à la presidential democracy) affect the selection of women into political offices compared to indirect appointment (à la parliamentary). Exploiting the staggered phase-in across Italian municipalities of a reform to the local institutional regime, I find that the introduction of direct elections increased the fraction of female mayors substantially. The results are stronger in cities with a high pre-reform share of female politicians and driven by high-quality female officials replacing undereducated incumbents. Taken together, the results of this paper inform that direct election regimes ease the selection of competent politicians into office.
    Keywords: political selection, voting systems, gender gaps, female representation
    JEL: C24 D02 D72 J16
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Ajzenman, Nicolas (McGill University); Ferman, Bruno (Sao Paulo School of Economics); Sant’Anna, Pedro C. (Sao Paulo School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the results of an experiment designed to identify discrimination in users' following behavior on Twitter. Specifically, we created fictitious bot accounts that resembled humans and claimed to be PhD students in economics. The accounts differed in three characteristics: gender (male or female), race (Black or White), and university affiliation (top- or lower-ranked). The bot accounts randomly followed Twitter users who form part of the #EconTwitter academic community. We measured how many follow-backs each account obtained after a given period. Twitter users from this community were 12% more likely to follow accounts of White students compared to those of Black students; 21% more likely to follow accounts of students from top-ranked, prestigious universities compared to accounts of lower-ranked institutions; and 25% more likely to follow female compared to male students. The racial gap persisted even among students from top-ranked institutions, suggesting that Twitter users racially discriminate even in the presence of a signal that could be interpreted as indicative of high academic potential. Notably, we find that Black male students from top-ranked universities receive no more follow-backs than White male students from relatively lower-ranked institutions.
    Keywords: gender, economics profession, discrimination, race, social media
    JEL: J15 J16 A11 C93 I23
    Date: 2023–01
  6. By: Ziegler, Lennart (University of Vienna); Bamieh, Omar (University of Vienna)
    Abstract: Despite changing gender norms, few fathers decide to take parental leave after the birth of a child, and when they do, their leave spells are substantially shorter compared to mothers. This study examines how paternal leave-taking is affected by two key features of leave policies: flexibility in leave duration and financial incentives. To disentangle their impact, we exploit recent changes to the Austrian parental leave system, which initially offered flat monthly benefits for 36 months after childbirth. The first reform added considerably shorter leave options; the second reform introduced income-dependent benefits, increasing net income replacement rates to 80 percent. Using a regression discontinuity design based on eligibility cutoff dates, we find that both reforms had a strong impact on leave take-up of fathers. The availability of shorter leave options increased leave-taking by 23 percent, while the introduction of income-dependent benefits raised take-up by another 13 percent relative to pre-reform means. Despite these increases, the share of leave taken by fathers relative to mothers remained similar. Comparing the impact of the two reforms across different income groups, we conclude that higher flexibility is more effective than stronger financial compensation in raising the number of leave-taking fathers.
    Keywords: parental leave, gender differences, childcare, financial incentives, labor supply, return to work
    JEL: J12 J13 J18 J22 I38
    Date: 2023–01

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