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Does Menstruation Explain Gender Gaps in Work Absenteeism?

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  • Mariesa A. Herrmann
  • Jonah E. Rockoff

Abstract

Ichino and Moretti (2009) find that menstruation may contribute to gender gaps in absenteeism and earnings, based on evidence that absences of young female Italian bank employees follow a 28-day cycle. We find this evidence is not robust to the correction of coding errors or small changes in specification, and we find no evidence of increased female absenteeism on 28-day cycles in data on school teachers. We show that five day work weeks can cause misleading group differences in absence hazards at multiples of seven, including 28 days, and illustrate this problem by comparing absence patterns of younger males to older males.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariesa A. Herrmann & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "Does Menstruation Explain Gender Gaps in Work Absenteeism?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 493-508.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:ii:1:p:493-508
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Broström, Göran & Palme, Mårten & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Economic incentives and gender differences in work absence behavior," Working Paper Series 2002:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
    3. Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2011. "Menstruation, Sanitary Products, and School Attendance: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 91-100, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Chadi, 2017. "There Is No Place like Work: Evidence on Health and Labor Market Behavior from Changing Weather Conditions," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201709, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    2. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the labor market: What have we learned from field and lab experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 32-40.
    3. Deborah Kerfoot & David Knights & Ida Sabelis & Janet Grace Sayers & Deborah Jones, 2015. "Truth Scribbled in Blood: Women's Work, Menstruation and Poetry," Gender, Work and Organization, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 94-111, March.
    4. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2013. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-20.
    5. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Choice under Risk," Working Papers 127, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    6. Herrmann, Mariesa A. & Rockoff, Jonah E., 2013. "Do menstrual problems explain gender gaps in absenteeism and earnings?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 12-22.
    7. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2016. "Biology and Gender in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Chen, Yan & Katuščák, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2013. "Why canʼt a woman bid more like a man?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 181-213.

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