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
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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

Emigration, Remittances and the Subjective Well-Being of Those Staying Behind

December 10, 2018
By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol); Nikolova, Milena (University of Groningen); Graham, Carol Lee (Brookings Institution)
Abstract: Despite growing academic and policy interest in the subjective well-being consequences of emigration for those left behind, existing studies have focused on single origin countries or specific world regions. Our study is the first to offer a global perspective on the well-being consequences of emigration for those staying behind using several subjective well-being measures (evaluations of best possible life, positive affect, stress, and depression). Drawing upon Gallup World Poll data for 114 countries during 2009-2011, we find that both having family members abroad and receiving remittances are positively associated with evaluative well-being (evaluations of best possible life) and positive affect (measured by an index of variables related to experiencing positive feelings at a particular point in time). Our analysis provides novel results showing that remittances are particularly beneficial for evaluative well-being in less developed and more unequal contexts; in richer countries, only the out-migration of family members is positively associated with life evaluations, while remittances have no additional association. We also find that having household members abroad is linked with increased stress and depression, which are not offset by remittances. The out-migration of family members appears more traumatic in contexts where migration is less common, such as more developed countries, and specific world regions, such as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as among women. Relying on subjective well-being measures, which reflect both material and non-material aspects of life and are broad measures of well-being, allows us to provide additional insights and a more well-rounded picture of the possible consequences of emigration on migrant family members staying behind relative to standard outcomes employed in the literature, such as the left-behind’s consumption, income or labor market responses.
Keywords: migration, remittances, depression, stress, Cantril ladder of life, happiness, Gallup World Poll
JEL: F22 F24 I3 J61
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11437&r=ltv

Government education expenditures, pre-primary education and school performance: A cross-country analysis

December 10, 2018
By: Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto); Chiara Monfardini (University of Bologna); Sarah Grace See (University of York)
Abstract: Using data from OECD’s PISA, Eurostat and World Bank’s WDI, we explore how child cognitive outcomes at the aggregate country level are related to macroeconomic conditions, specifically government education expenditures and early education experience. We find that both government expenditures in education and attendance to early child care are associated with better later school performance. We also consider different childcare characteristics such as duration and quality, which appear to have significant effects Our results may imply that policies encouraging childcare expansion should also take into account quality issues.
Keywords: early childcare and education, school performance, test scores, early childhood education
JEL: H52 J24
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-020&r=ltv

Self Confidence Spillovers and Motivated Beliefs

December 10, 2018
By: Ritwik Banerjee (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and IZA); Nabanita Datta Gupta (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark);Marie Claire Villeval (University of Lyon)
Abstract: Is success in a task used strategically by individuals to motivate their beliefs prior to taking action in a subsequent, unrelated, task? Also, is the distortion of beliefs reinforced for individuals who have lower status in society? Conducting an artefactual field experiment in India, we show that success when competing in a task increases the performers’ self-confidence and competitiveness in the subsequent task. We also find that such spillovers affect the self-confidence of low-status individuals more than that of high-status individuals. Receiving good news under Affirmative Action, however, boosts confidence across tasks regardless of the caste status.
Keywords: Motivated beliefs, spillovers, self-confidence, competitiveness, Affirmative Action, experiment
JEL: C91 J15 M52
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aah:aarhec:2018-02&r=ltv