nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
four papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Institutet för Arbetsmarknads- och Utbildningspolitisk Utvärdering

  1. Overconfident Boys: The Gender Gap in Mathematics Self-Assessment By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Jerrim, John; Pingault, Jean-Baptiste; Shure, Nikki
  2. An international map of gender gaps By Ines Buono; Annalivia Polselli
  3. Husbands' Wages and Married Women's Labor Supply in Urban China By Zhu, Mengbing; Li, Yi; Xing, Chunbing
  4. Reconciling Estimates of the Long-Term Earnings Effect of Fertility By Bensnes, Simon; Huitfeldt, Ingrid; Leuven, Edwin

  1. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna (KRTK KTI; Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics); Jerrim, John (University College London); Pingault, Jean-Baptiste (University College London); Shure, Nikki (University College London)
    Abstract: It is well established that boys perceive themselves to be better in mathematics than girls, even when their ability is the same. We examine the drivers of this male overconfidence in self-assessed mathematics ability using a longitudinal study of twins. This allows us to control for family fixed effects, i.e. shared genetic and environmental factors, and exploit the random assignment of the sex of one's co-twin. Using measures of individual self-assessment in mathematics from childhood and adolescence, along with mathematics levels and test scores, cognitive skills, parent and teacher mathematics assessments, and characteristics of their families and siblings, we examine potential channels of the gender gap. Our results confirm that objective mathematics abilities only explain a small share of the gender gap in self-assessed mathematics abilities, and the gap is even larger within opposite-sex twin pairs. We find that having a confident male co-twin increases the confidence of boys but decreases the confidence of girls, not just in mathematics, but also in their self-assessment of other abilities. Male overconfidence might explain why men self-select into top jobs or STEM courses, making entry more difficult for women. We also find that parents are more likely to overestimate boys' and underestimate girls' mathematics abilities. Gender-biased parental assessments explain a large part of the gender gap in mathematics self-assessment, highlighting the importance of the intergenerational transmission of gender stereotypes.
    Keywords: gender gaps, self-assessed mathematics ability, twins, overconfidence, peer effects
    JEL: I24 J16
    Date: 2023–05
  2. By: Ines Buono (Bank of Italy); Annalivia Polselli (University of Essex)
    Abstract: This paper revisits stylized facts on female labour force participation, employment and unemployment, using a unified and up-to-date dataset with comparable information for high-income (HI) and middle-low income (MLI) countries. We find that: (i) global trends in labour supply in the last 30 years are mainly shaped by the increasing trend in female participation in HI countries that almost offset the contemporaneous decrease in male participation; (ii) gaps in unemployment between man and women widen during economic crises, with men usually more hit than women (with the notable exception of the Covid-crisis); (iii) the increase in female employment over the last 30 years is mostly driven by the expansion of the service sector; (iv) finally, institutional setting and policies boost women’s labour supply only once countries enter in the last stage of their economic development.
    Keywords: gender gaps, labour force participation, female employment, COVID-19.
    JEL: E24 J16 J21 J71 J78
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Zhu, Mengbing (Beijing Normal University); Li, Yi (Beijing Normal University); Xing, Chunbing (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of husbands' wages on their wives' labor force participation rates and hours worked in urban China from 1995 to 2018. We find that an increase in husbands' wages reduces the labor force participation rate of married women with similar education levels. Controlling for gender identity—in particular, an aversion to the wife earning more than her husband—strengthens the income effect of husbands' wages. The labor supply effect of husbands' wages is more significant for younger and less-educated women and those with more children. The employed women's hours worked are negatively correlated with their husbands' wages, which is more significant for married women of older cohorts and with more children. This study helps us better understand the trend of the female labor supply in urban China. It sheds light on the impact of gender identity, welfare inequalities across families, and the well-being of households facing economic shocks.
    Keywords: husbands' wages, female labor force participation, hours worked, gender identity
    JEL: D13 D31 J16 J21
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Bensnes, Simon (Statistics Norway); Huitfeldt, Ingrid (Norwegian Business School (BI)); Leuven, Edwin (University of Oslo)
    Abstract: This paper presents novel methodological and empirical contributions to the child penalty literature. We propose a new estimator that combines elements from standard event study and instrumental variable estimators and demonstrate their relatedness. Our analysis shows that all three approaches yield substantial estimates of the long-term impact of children on the earnings gap between mothers and their partners, commonly known as the child penalty, ranging from 11 to 18 percent. However, the models not only estimate different magnitudes of the child penalty, they also lead to very different conclusions as to whether it is mothers or partners who drive this penalty – the key policy concern. While the event study attributes the entire impact to mothers, our results suggest that maternal responses account for only around one fourth of the penalty. Our paper also has broader implications for event-study designs. In particular, we assess the validity of the event-study assumptions using external information and characterize biases arising from selection in treatment timing. We find that women time fertility as their earnings profile flattens. The implication of this is that the event-study overestimates women's earnings penalty as it relies on estimates of counterfactual wage profiles that are too high. These new insights in the nature of selection into fertility show that common intuitions regarding parallel trend assumptions may be misleading, and that pre-trends may be uninformative about the sign of the selection bias in the treatment period.
    Keywords: child penalty, female labor supply, event study, instrumental variable
    JEL: C36 J13 J16 J21 J22 J31
    Date: 2023–05

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