Sam Cosaert, Alexandros Theloudis, Bertrand Verheyden, 28 August 2020

COVID-19 lockdowns and school closures have affected working hours and household income, with an unequal effect on women and men. The collective model of the household has hitherto ignored distinctions between private versus joint activities by parents in household time allocation. This column examines the evolving costs and benefits of togetherness, using Dutch data for 2009–2012, and speculates on how lockdown policies may affect togetherness and household welfare. Joint leisure and childcare generate a loss of flexibility in the labour market, and joint childcare prevents specialisation, generating tension between parental childcare quality and quantity.

Richard V. Burkhauser, Nicolas Hérault, Stephen P. Jenkins, Roger Wilkins, 21 July 2020

The share of total income held by those at the very top of the income distribution has been much analysed, but despite a rising share of women in the top 1% of the income distribution, less is known about the gender divide at the top. This column analyses gender differences among the UK top 1% between 1999 and 2015. The rising share of women in the top 1% is largely accounted for by women having increased the time they spend in full-time education by more than men did.

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Berkay Ozcan, Julia Philipp, 16 July 2020

At a moment when policymakers are putting increased efforts into tackling gender gaps in the labour market, it is worth asking whether robotization could worsen pay disparities between men and women. Using new evidence from 20 European countries, this column finds that men at medium- and high-skill occupations disproportionately benefit from robotisation, especially in countries where gender inequality was already severe. The authors recommend that governments pay attention to automation’s distributional issues, and increase their efforts to equip women and men equally with the skills most relevant for future employability. 

Supriya Garikipati, Uma Kambhampati, 21 June 2020

The effectiveness of female leaders in handling the COVID crisis has received a lot of media attention. This column examines whether the gender of the national leader truly makes a significant difference to the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the first quarter of the pandemic, with differences in lockdown timing examined as a plausible explanation for these patterns. The findings show that COVID outcomes are systematically better in countries led by women. Insights from behavioural studies and leadership literature are used to speculate on the sources of these differences, as well as on their implications. 

Stefania Fabrizio, Vivian Malta, Marina M. Tavares, 20 June 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is depressing growth globally, and lockdown measures are causing widespread job losses. This column illustrates that women are amongst the worst affected. Women are vulnerable not only because of their jobs, but also because of gender inequalities within housework division, education, and health. There is an urgent need to support women, repair gender disparities aggravated by crisis, and to reduce women’s vulnerability going forward. Gender-responsive fiscal measures are viable tools that work in the interests of women, as well as supporting economic growth and reducing poverty and inequality.

Daniela Del Boca, Noemi Oggero, Paola Profeta, Mariacristina Rossi, 19 June 2020

The social distancing measures adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19 have placed a particular burden on families. Using survey data collected in April 2020 from a representative sample of Italian women, this column asks how working from home – combined with school closures – has affected the working arrangements, housework, and childcare provisions of couples in which both partners are employed. Most of the additional responsibilities have fallen to women, though childcare activities are shared more equally than housework.

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Moritz Kuhn, Michèle Tertilt, 30 May 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has hit women’s employment particularly hard, partly because the worst-hit sectors have high female employment shares, but also because schools and daycare closures have forced more mothers to leave their jobs. This column looks at Germany, where 26% of the workforce has children aged 14 or younger, and quantifies the macroeconomic importance of working parents. If schools and daycare centres remain closed as the economy slowly reopens, 11% of workers and 8% of all working hours will be lost to the labour market. Policies to restart the economy must accommodate the concerns of these families.

Jean Benoit Eymeoud, Paul Vertier, 22 May 2020

While decades of research have investigated the reasons behind the underrepresentation of women in politics, uncovering discriminatory behaviours of voters remains a difficult task. This column examines the voting outcomes of French departmental elections in 2015, which required candidates to run in mixed-gender pairs, and isolates discriminatory behaviour of right-wing voters. Right-wing parties lost votes when the woman’s name appeared first on the ballot. However, the discriminatory effect disappears where information about the candidates is available on the ballot.

Johanna Rickne, Olle Folke, 21 May 2020

The #MeToo movement put a spotlight on a severe and highly prevalent workplace problem: sexual harassment. Using data from Sweden, this column argues that economists should treat sexual harassment as gender discrimination in work conditions. Both men and women are subject to this discrimination when they are part of gender minorities in occupations or workplaces.

,

You are invited to a CEPR webinar on:
 

How Covid-19 affects women

Join us on Wednesday 20 May 2020
16:30-17:30 (BST, London), 17:30 - 18:30 (CST)

Panellists:
Renée Adams, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Matthias Doepke, Northwestern University and CEPR
Michèle Tertilt, University of Mannheim and CEPR

Moderator:
Tim Phillips, CEPR

Covid-19 is impacting men and women differently, both in health and labour outcomes. 

Compared to 'regular' recessions, which affect men’s employment more severely than women’s employment, the employment drop related to social distancing measures has a large impact on sectors with high female employment shares. In addition, closures of schools and daycare centers have massively increased child care needs, which has a particularly large impact on working mothers. What main, long-run repercussions will this have for gender equality?

On average, women comprise a smaller share of deaths from Covid-19, At the same time, women face a higher risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus, due to the fact that they constitute the majority of health care and essential workers. Is the gender difference in Covid-19 deaths across countries and US States related to gender differences in work patterns?

Join the discussion with panellists Renée Adams, Matthias Doepke and Michèle Tertilt to explore these different impacts on gender equality in more detail.

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/9515898768288/WN_iLQp9IEWQ6mb_wOzHBQDRA 

Graziella Bertocchi, 23 April 2020

As countries gradually loosen lockdown restrictions, there will be increased urgency to determine which segments of the population are least susceptible to COVID-19 and should return to work first. This column re-examines the data on women in Italy and finds that working-age women are more susceptible to the disease than working-age men, likely due to women’s over-representation in jobs – namely, health and education – that expose them to a higher risk of contagion. Policies that count on women replacing men as lockdowns lift could aggravate the problem rather than solve it.

Monika Queisser, Willem Adema, Chris Clarke, 22 April 2020

Unlike most previous economic crises, this crisis has the potential to do disproportionate damage to women’s jobs and incomes. This column describers how confinement and distancing measures are threatening to shatter several female-dominated industries, including retail, accommodation services, and food and beverage service activities. This puts many women’s jobs at risk. And even when they do not work in ‘at-risk’ industries, many women are struggling to balance work with the additional care responsibilities caused by school and childcare closures. When formulating policy responses to the crisis, it is crucial that governments do not ignore the impact the crisis can, is, and will have on women’s lives. 

Claudia Hupkau, Barbara Petrongolo, 22 April 2020

The social distancing and lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 crisis has hit service sectors with frequent interactions between consumers and providers which cannot be done from home. At the same time, it has added education and childcare services to pre-existing home production needs.  This column combines survey data from the UK with occupation classifications to show that that – unlike previous recessions – the current crisis is harming women’s labour market prospects more than those of men and that women are also likely to be on the receiving end of the bulk of increased home production requirements.

Hamish Low, Luigi Pistaferri, 08 April 2020

Disability insurance programmes provide income replacement and medical benefits to workers who face major health shocks impeding their ability to work. The screening error of incorrect acceptance – where individuals who are not disabled are awarded benefits – and moral hazard have been well researched, but scant attention has been paid to incorrect rejection. Using US data, this column shows that the probability of being rejected when disabled varies with a host of observable characteristics. Most strikingly, truly disabled women are 20 percentage points more likely to be incorrectly rejected than observationally equivalent men.

Men

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. 

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. 

Sabrina Howell, Ramana Nanda, 29 February 2020

Venture capital remains a critical source of financing for new ideas and technologies, but only 10-15% of venture capital-backed entrepreneurs are women. Using data from the Harvard Business School’s New Venture Competition, this column shows that networking frictions play a significant role in the gender gap, and that structural solutions focused only on providing women entrepreneurs with more exposure to VCs may not be enough to eliminate it. Instead, networking opportunities should be encouraged or even formalised, particularly in the realm of new venture competitions and accelerators.

Thushyanthan Baskaran, Zohal Hessami, 18 February 2020

The fact that women are underrepresented in politics is often viewed as an important social problem. But why should it be a problem? This column argues that when too few women hold political office, political decisions may not adequately reflect women’s needs and preferences. Using the example of the public provision of childcare in Germany, it shows that municipalities with a higher share of female councillors expand public childcare more quickly. The fact that the presence of women has substantive effects on policies should be taken into account in current debates around the introduction of gender quotas in politics.

Anne Boschini, Jesper Roine, 29 January 2020

While the rising income share of top earners has received enormous attention in recent years, the share of women at the top has not been examined as closely. This column analyses income tax data from Sweden, where taxes are filed individually regardless of marital status. It finds that while the share of women among the wealthiest groups has steadily increased over time, women remain a clear minority, especially at the very top. Unlike top-income men, top-income women are much more likely to have partners who are also in the top of the income distribution.

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