Robert Kaestner, Ofer Malamud, 21 January 2022

The persistence of the gender wage gap suggests it may have roots extending back into childhood. Using data from a US longitudinal survey, this column examines how gender differences in adult earnings correspond to various childhood behaviours. Results indicate that women (but not men) who exhibited headstrong behaviour as children incurred significant earnings penalties as adults, while men (but not women) who exhibited more dependent behaviour as children were penalised. Whether these patterns are the result of nonconformity to gender norms and stereotypes warrants further attention and study. 

Ángel Cuevas Rumin, Ruben Cuevas Rumin, Klaus Desmet, Ignacio Ortuño-Ortin, 08 January 2022

Are preference differences between men and women attenuated or accentuated in more gender-equal societies? Using information on the shares of male and female Facebook users that are interested in over 45,000 different topics, this column finds that differences are larger in gender-equal societies for interests that are systematically biased towards the same gender across the globe (such as football, war, or children), while the opposite is true for interests that do not show a gender bias (such as fitness, travel, or horses). These contrasting results are consistent with both evolutionary psychology and social role theory.

Klaus Desmet, 07 January 2022

Are the differences between what men and women like decided at birth, or do we learn to prefer different things? Klaus Desmet tells Tim Phillips about new research that investigates global patterns in 45,397 Facebook interests.

Read more and download the free DP behind this podcast:
Cuevas Rumin, R, Cuevas Rumin, A, Desmet, K and Ortuño-Ortín, I. 2021. 'The Gender Gap in Preferences: Evidence from 45,397 Facebook Interests'. CEPR

Amanda Agan, Bo Cowgill, Laura Gee, 06 January 2022

Salary history bans are increasingly popular in the US. Using a field experiment to investigate how salary history disclosures impact employer demand, this column finds that disclosing a high salary is often a signal of quality and yields higher salary offers. However, higher salaries can also make candidates too expensive to justify a callback. The authors find evidence that such policies can equalise some outcomes across genders, but sometimes as a result of reductions for men rather than raises for women.

Marco G. Palladino, Alexandra Roulet, Mark Stabile, 01 December 2021

What drives gender wage gaps – and how best to close them – remains a contested topic of economic research. Using data from matched employer-employee registers in France from 1995 to 2015, this column finds that discrepancies in pay are driven largely by men and women working in different firms rather than similar men and women being paid differently at the same firm. Understanding why the share of the gender gap ascribed to firms persists over time and across cohorts remains an essential policy puzzle for further reducing wage disparities. 

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