Gender

Victoria Baranov, Ralph De Haas, Pauline Grosjean, 02 April 2020

Men are consistently less healthy than women and three times more likely to commit suicide. This column argues that to understand these trends requires understanding ‘masculinity norms’ – the standards that guide and constrain men’s behaviour over time. It uses data from a unique natural experiment: the convict colonisation of Australia, when highly skewed sex ratios (men far outnumbered women) intensified competition and violence. When these behaviours become entrenched in local cultures, the column argues, they continue to manifest themselves long after the country’s gender ratios have stabilised. 

Francine Blau, Lawrence Kahn, Peter Brummund, Jason Cook, Miriam Larson-Koester, 12 March 2020

Previous studies provided evidence that even in developed countries, parents behaved differently with sons than with daughters. In light of more recent data, this column presents new evidence that the preference for sons appears to have declined in the US. Having a female first child continues to increase the likelihood of a family’s living without a father, but is now associated with lower fertility over time. 

Donna Ginther, Erin Hengel, Shelly Lundberg, Jenna Stearns, 06 March 2020

Women are under-represented in economics, and the situation is not improving. Economists Shelly Lundberg, Donna Ginther, Jenna Stearns and Erin Hengel talk to Tim Phillips about VoxEU's new book on the subject that examines the barriers that women face in the profession, and also suggests ways to support the next generation of female economists.
Download the book here

Shelly Lundberg, 05 March 2020

Women are substantially underrepresented in the field of economics. This column introduces a new Vox eBook in which leading experts on the issue of gender in economics examine the role and progress of women in professional economics, review the barriers women face at various stages of the training and promotional pipeline, evaluate programmes designed to support and encourage female economists, and discuss the benefits of greater gender equality across economics research professions. 

Wolfgang Keller, Hâle Utar, 05 March 2020

The 20th century saw a steady increase in the number of women postponing motherhood to enhance their labour market opportunities. Sometime in the early 2000s, that trend ended. This column compares the experience of women in the US and Denmark and finds that women of childbearing age who experienced diminished labour market opportunities because of import competition from China turned towards family life, while men focused on finding a new career path in the labour market. Import competition from China raised the likelihood of marriage for women but not for men.

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