Jean Benoit Eymeoud, 03 May 2022

It's hard to find good evidence on whether voters have a gender bias. But the voting format used in French local elections makes it possible to estimate the extent of this form of discrimination, and suggests what we can do about it.

Read more about this paper recently presented at the 75th Economic Policy Panel meeting: Gender Discrimination in Politics

Tommaso Frattini, Irene Solmone, 30 March 2022

More than three million Ukrainians have left their country since the start of the war on 24 February. Due to mandatory conscription of men in Ukraine, the majority of these refugees are women and children. This column explores the labour market integration of immigrant women in Europe using data from the past two decades. It shows that immigrant women face a double disadvantage determined by both their gender and immigration status, and their labour market outcomes have not improved over time. These disadvantages should be considered when designing policies to increase labour market participation and success. 

Benjamin W. Arold, Ludger Woessmann, Larissa Zierow, 18 March 2022

Does compulsory religious education make us more likely to believe as adults, and does it make us more ethical? Ludger Woessmann, Larissa Zierow, and Benjamin Arold explain to Tim Phillips what educational reform in Germany can tell us.

Moshe Hazan, David Weiss, 11 March 2022

Until the second half of the 19th century, coverture laws granted married men almost unlimited power over the household. Moshe Hazan and David Weiss tell Tim Phillips about how abolition changed the number of children in a family, and how well those children were educated?

Read more about the research behind this Vox Talk and download the free DP:
Hazan, M, Weiss, D and Zoabi, H. 2021. 'Women's Liberation, Household Revolution'. CEPR

Benjamin W. Arold, Ludger Woessmann, Larissa Zierow, 03 March 2022

Compulsory religious education in school can have long-run consequences for students’ lives. Since the 1970s, German states at different times ended compulsory religious education in public schools and replaced it with a choice between ethics classes and religious education. This column shows that the reform not only led to reduced religiosity in students’ later life but also eroded traditional attitudes about gender roles and increased labour market participation and earnings.

Moshe Hazan, David Weiss, Hosny Zoabi, 24 February 2022

In the late 19th century, US states began giving economic rights to married women. Before that, laws of ownership and control over property and income gave the husband virtually unlimited power within the household. This column examines how these changes in women’s economic power affected households and children. The findings suggest that expanding women’s rights increased their power at home, causing a ‘household revolution’ of decreased fertility and more education.

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

Rigissa Megalokonomou, Marian Vidal-Fernandez, Duygu Yengin, 11 November 2021

Women are now more likely to pursue a university degree than men, but the proportion of women graduating in economics has decreased or remained stagnant over the past two decades. This column examines the representation of women in undergraduate economics degrees in 25 European countries during 2014–2018. The ratio of women to men in economics, controlling for gender differences in enrolment, has been around 0.6 on average and is stable or decreasing. Increased representation of women economists is important for more balanced policy recommendations, and the authors discuss how this might be achieved. 

Natalie Bau, Gaurav Khanna, Corinne Low, Manisha Shah, Sreyashi Sharmin, Alessandra Voena, 22 October 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a twin health and economic shock with devastating effects, particularly in low-income settings. This column uses a large phone survey and leverages the geographical variation in India's containment policies to examine how the pandemic and its containment policies affect women’s wellbeing. The authors find that stricter containment policies, while potentially crucial to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases, are associated with worse female mental health and increased food insecurity, particularly for the most vulnerable women.

Jason Furman, Melissa Kearney, Wilson Powell, 06 August 2021

As of June 2021, the US labour-force participation rate had not yet recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels. This column explores how much the aggregate decline in employment between 2020 and 2021 can be explained by excess job loss among parents, and particularly mothers, of young children, who have had to contend with school and daycare closures during the pandemic. The findings suggest that excessive employment declines among parents do not explain a sizeable share of ongoing job loss. A larger decline in employment for parents of young children was seen only among women without a bachelor’s degree.

Ana Paula Franco, Sebastian Galiani, Pablo Lavado, 29 July 2021

Historical institutions can have long-lasting effects on societies and economies. The Inca Road has been a linchpin of the colonial economy in the New World, but its impact on current development has not been studied in great depth. This column examines the impact of the road on today’s educational, development, and labour outcomes. Proximity to the Inca Road increased the average level of educational attainment and decreased stunting among children by 5%. It boosted average hourly wages by 20% and reduced informality by six percentage points. Moreover, these effects were around 40% greater among women.

Paula Calvo, Ilse Lindenlaub, Ana Reynoso, 14 July 2021

While progress in closing gender gaps has been made, women around the world still earn less than men in the labour market. At the same time, income inequality across households has increased in recent decades. This column finds that the interaction of the marriage market and the labour market crucially impacts inequality across gender and within/between households. Policies that affect who marries whom (such as tax policies) or home production choices (such as parental leave or universal childcare) can mitigate or amplify inequality, calling for a better understanding of these spillovers across markets.

Anna Raute, Uta Schӧnberg, 02 July 2021

Do cultural norms determine whether women go back to work after having a child? And if culture changes, does their behaviour change too? Anna Raute and Uta Schӧnberg tell Tim Phillips how the reunification of Germany provided unique data.

The paper discussed is:
Boelmann, B, Raute, A and Schӧnberg, U. 2021. 'Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.


Alessandra Bonfiglioli, Federica De Pace, 25 June 2021

The rise in income inequality and, more prominently, in the wage gap between men and women has been one of the major concerns among policymakers and the public in recent years. This column presents new evidence from Germany on the impact of exports on the gender wage gap which shows that an increase in a plant’s exports significantly reduces the wage gap between male and female co-workers in white-collar occupations, but widens it for employees in blue-collar occupations. The findings suggest that designing policies that support women taking part in trade, especially in positions in which they would benefit from their comparative advantage, is crucial to maximise the potential benefits from globalisation.    

Arash Nekoei, Fabian Sinn, 27 May 2021

The international differences in women's status are striking. When and where did those differences first emerge? Is women's status improving everywhere today so that we expect global gender equality eventually? This column uses data from the Human Biological Record to explore women's status over the last 5,000 years. The records show no long-run trend in women's share in recorded history. Historically, women's power has been a side-effect of nepotism: the more important family connections, the higher the women's share. But self-made women began to rise among the writers in the 17th century before a broader take-off in the 19th century. Exploring these captivating and yet unanswered questions teaches us about the future of women and other emancipation movements.

Danilo Cavapozzi, Marco Francesconi, Cheti Nicoletti, 13 May 2021

Despite a significant reduction in gender differences in the labour market over the last 40 years, they are still present in most advanced economies and do not appear likely to vanish soon. This column analyses the impact of culture, defined by women’s gender role attitudes, on maternal labour market decisions. It finds that social pressure is at least as strong as social learning in influencing labour market behaviour. Once these channels are accounted for, there is no direct effect of peers’ gender identity norms on labour force participation. Disseminating detailed statistics on female labour market outcomes and work attitudes may prove to be a cost-effective way to promote labour market participation, especially among less-educated mothers.

Alma Cohen, Moshe Hazan, David Weiss, 08 March 2021

The gender gap in corporate America is increasingly well documented, but the literature has not yet examined how a CEO’s political preferences might be associated with gender equality in the executive suite. Focusing on the US, this column compares the fraction of a CEO’s political contributions that went to Republican, rather than Democratic, candidates and the gender balance among top executives (excluding the CEO). Companies run by a CEO who only donates to Democrats employ a 15–25% higher fraction of women in the executive suite than those run by CEOs who only donate to Republicans.

Philip Hanspach, Virginia Sondergeld, Jess Palka, 15 February 2021

Women economists remain underrepresented in leadership positions across the academic world as well as in the private and public sectors. This column uses data from the 2020 edition of the Women in Economics Index (WiE) to document imbalances in the profession’s gender distribution, discuss what those imbalances reveal about the state of the profession broadly, and emphasise the importance of equal opportunity to the field’s future. Removing barriers in economics will not only facilitate workplace fairness but may also improve outcomes.

Alex Chernoff, Casey Warman, 02 February 2021

COVID-19 may accelerate the automation of jobs, as employers invest in technology to safeguard against pandemics. This column uses survey data from the US to show that women with medium to low levels of wages and education are at the highest risk of COVID-induced automation.



CEPR Policy Research