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Gender complementarities in the labor market

Author

Listed:
  • Giacomo De Giorgi

    (Stanford University, BREAD, CEPR and NBER)

  • Marco Paccagnella

    (Bank of Italy and fRDB)

  • Michele Pellizzari

    (OECD, University of Geneva and IZA)

Abstract

In this paper we estimate the short-run elasticity of substitution between male and female workers, using data on employment and wages from Italian provinces from 1993-2006. We adopt a production function approach similar to that of Card and Lemieux (2001a) and Acemoglu, Autor and Lyle (2004). Our identification strategy relies on a natural experiment. In 2000 the Italian parliament passed a law to abolish compulsory military service; the reform was implemented through a gradual reduction in the number of draftees, and compulsory drafting was definitively terminated in 2004. We use data on the (planned) maximum number of draftees at the national level (as stated in the annual budgetary law), interacted with sex-ratios at birth at the provincial level, as instruments for (relative) female labor supply. Our results suggest that young males and females are imperfect substitutes, with an elasticity of substitution ranging between 1.1 and 1.6. Our results have implications for the evaluation of policies aimed at increasing female labor market participation, suggesting that they do not necessarily displace male employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo De Giorgi & Marco Paccagnella & Michele Pellizzari, 2013. "Gender complementarities in the labor market," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 183, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_183_13
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    File URL: https://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2013-0183/QEF_183.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Espinoza, Raphael & Ostry, Jonathan D. & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2019. "The Armistice of the Sexes: Gender Complementarities in the Production Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 13792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. zhibo Tan & Xiaobo Zhang, 2016. "Does Female Labor Scarcity Encourage Innovation? Evidence from China’s Gender Imbalance," Working Papers id:11039, eSocialSciences.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender complementarities; elasticity of substitution; employment; wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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