Segregation of women into low-paying occupations in the United States

December 18, 2018
By: Carlos Gradín
We extend the conventional framework for measuring segregation to consider stratification of occupations by gender, i.e. when women or men are predominantly segregated into low-paying jobs. For this, we propose to use concentration curves and indices. Our empirical analysis using this approach shows that the decline over time in occupational gender segregation in the US has been accompanied by a deeper, longer reduction in gender stratification. We further investigate the role of workers’ characteristics, showing that gender differences cannot explain the levels of segregation/stratification in any year. However, changes over time for each gender do help to explain their trends.
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2017-89&r=ltv
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Ageing Poorly? Accounting for the Decline in Earnings Inequality in Brazil, 1995-2012

December 18, 2018
By: Ferreira, Francisco H. G. (World Bank) ; Firpo, Sergio (Insper, São Paulo) ; Messina, Julián (Inter-American Development Bank)
The Gini coefficient of labor earnings in Brazil fell by nearly a fifth between 1995 and 2012, from 0.50 to 0.41. The decline in earnings inequality was even larger by other measures, with the 90-10 percentile ratio falling by almost 40 percent. Although the conventional explanation of a falling education premium did play a role, an RIF regression-based decomposition analysis suggests that the decline in returns to potential experience was the main factor behind lower wage disparities during the period. Substantial reductions in the gender, race, informality and urban-rural wage gaps, conditional on human capital and institutional variables, also contributed to the decline. Although rising minimum wages were equalizing during 2003-2012, they had the opposite effects during 1995-2003, because of declining compliance. Over the entire period, the direct effect of minimum wages on inequality was muted.
Keywords: earnings inequality, Brazil, RIF regressions
JEL: D31 J31
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10656&r=ltv

Do Equal Rights for a Minority Affect General Life Satisfaction?

December 18, 2018
By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)) ; Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University) ; Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
While previous research examines how institutions matter for general life satisfaction and how specific institutions embodying equal rights for gay people matter for the life satisfaction of gays, we combine these two issues to analyze how the latter type of institutions relates to general life satisfaction. The question is how people in general are affected by laws treating everyone equally irrespective of sexual orientation. We find that legal recognition of partnership, marriage and adoption rights, as well as an equal age of consent, relate positively to general life satisfaction. Consequently, same-sex marriage and similar reforms come at no “welfare” cost to society at large – if anything, the opposite appears to hold. We further build on previous research showing positive effects of economic freedom on happiness and on tolerance towards gay people and interact our rights measure with economic freedom. This reveals that the positive effect on general happiness of equal rights mainly appears in countries with low economic freedom. This likely follows because minority rights are perceived to indicate openness to much-desired reforms in other areas.
Keywords: Life satisfaction; Same-sex marriage; Rights; Institutions; Culture; Immigration; Tolerance; Gays and lesbians; Minorities; Integration
JEL: I31 Z13 Z18
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1156&r=ltv

The Gender Pay Gap Across Countries: A Human Capital Approach

December 18, 2018
By: Solomon Polachek ; Jun Xiang
The gender wage gap varies across countries. For example, among OECD nations women in Australia, Belgium, Italy and Sweden earn 80% as much as males, whereas in Austria, Canada and Japan women earn about 60%. Current studies examining cross-country differences focus on the impact of labor market institutions such as minimum wage laws and nationwide collective bargaining. However, these studies neglect labor market institutions that affect women’s lifetime work behavior — a factor crucially important in gender wage gap studies that employ individual data. This paper explicitly concentrates on labor market institutions that are related to female lifetime work that affect the gender wage gap across countries. Using ISSP (International Social Survey Programme), LIS (Luxembourg Income Study) and OECD wage data for 35 countries covering 1970-2002, we show that the gender pay gap is positively associated with the fertility rate, positively associated with the husband-wife age gap at first marriage, and positively related to the top marginal tax rate, all factors which negatively affect women’s lifetime labor force participation. In addition, we show that collective bargaining, as found in previous studies, is negatively associated with the gender pay gap.
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lis:liswps:646&r=ltv

Origins of happiness

December 18, 2018
By: Andrew Clark ; Sarah Flèche ; Richard Layard ; Nattavudh Powdthavee ; George Ward
Understanding the key determinants of people’s life satisfaction makes it possible to suggest policies for how best to reduce misery and promote wellbeing. A forthcoming book by Richard Layard and colleagues discusses evidence on the origins of happiness in survey data from Australia, Germany, the UK and the United States.
Keywords: happiness, wellbeing, government, mental health
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cep:cepcnp:497&r=ltv

Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women

December 10, 2018
By: Bertrand, Marianne (University of Chicago); Cortes, Patricia (Boston University); Olivetti, Claudia (Boston College); Pan, Jessica (National University of Singapore)
Abstract: In most of the developed world, skilled women marry at a lower rate than unskilled women. We document heterogeneity across countries in how the marriage gap for skilled women has evolved over time. As labor market opportunities for women have improved, the marriage gap has been growing in some countries but shrinking in others. We discuss the comparative statics of a theoretical model in which the (negative) social attitudes toward working women might contribute to the lower marriage rate of skilled women, and might also induce a non-monotonic relationship between their labor market prospects and their marriage outcomes. The model delivers predictions about how the marriage gap for skilled women should react to changes in their labor market opportunities across economies with more or less conservative attitudes toward working women. We verify the key predictions of this model in a panel of 26 developed countries, as well as in a panel of US states.
Keywords: social norms, marriage gap, labor market opportunities
JEL: J12 J16
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11382&r=ltv

Crisis at Home: Mancession-induced Change in Intrahousehold Distribution

December 10, 2018
By: Olivier Bargain (GREQAM – Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d’Aix-Marseille – ECM – Ecole Centrale de Marseille – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – AMU – Aix Marseille Université – EHESS – École des hautes études en sciences sociales); Laurine Martinoty (CES – Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – UP1 – Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Abstract: The Great Recessions was essentially a ‘mancession’ in countries like Spain, the UK or the US, i.e. it hit men harder than women for they were disproportionately represented in heavily affected sectors. We investigate how the mancession, and more generally women’s relative opportunities on the labor market, translate into within-household redistribution. Precisely, we estimate the spouses’ resource shares in a collective model of consumption, using Spanish data over 2006-2011. We exploit the gender-oriented evolution of the economic environment to test two original distribution factors: first the regional-time variation in spouses’ relative unemployment risks, then the gender-differentiated shock in the construction sector (having a construction sector husband after the outburst of the crisis). Both approaches conclude that the resource share accruing to Spanish wives increased by around 7-9 percent on average, following the improvement of their relative labor market positions. Among childless couples, we document a 5-11 percent decline in individual consumption inequality following the crisis, which is essentially due to intrahousehold redistribu tion.
Keywords: mancession,intrahousehold allocation,unemployment risk
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01770180&r=ltv