IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/13792.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Armistice of the Sexes: Gender Complementarities in the Production Function

Author

Listed:
  • Espinoza, Raphael
  • Ostry, Jonathan D.
  • Papageorgiou, Chris

Abstract

Macroeconomic models have largely ignored the importance of gender diversity by assuming that male and female workers are perfectly substitutable in the aggregate production function. Whether this assumption is valid is an empirical question that this paper aims to answer by estimating the elasticity of substitution (ES) between the two types of labor. We apply linear and non-linear techniques to cross-country data at the aggregate level, to cross-country data at the sectoral level, and to firm-level data for the manufacturing sector in China. We find that women and men are far from being perfect substitutes: the ES is below 1 for the aggregate sample, between 1-2 for the sectoral sample, and between 2-3 at firm-level. We discuss why the ES may vary at different levels of aggregation and conclude on the implications of these results for growth accounting and for the gains from gender equality.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13792
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13792
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grant, James H & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1981. "Labor Market Competition among Youths, White Women and Others," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 354-360, August.
    2. Borella, Margherita & De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2018. "The aggregate implications of gender and marriage," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 6-26.
    3. Mark C. Berger, 1983. "Changes in Labor Force Composition and Male Earnings: A Production Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(2), pages 177-196.
    4. Juhn, Chinhui & Kim, Dae Il, 1999. "The Effects of Rising Female Labor Supply on Male Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 23-48, January.
    5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & James Grant, 1979. "Econometric Studies of Labor-Labor Substitution and Their Implications for Policy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(4), pages 543-562.
    6. David Rezza Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2020. "Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 105-163.
    7. Mr. Kangni R Kpodar & Ms. Monique Newiak & Mr. Philippe Wingender & Mr. Benedict J. Clements & Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Ms. Stefania Fabrizio & Ms. Kalpana Kochhar & Mr. Gerd Schwartz, 2013. "Women, Work, and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 2013/010, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    9. John Duffy & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 327-344, February.
    10. Stephen B. Jarrell & T. D. Stanley, 2004. "Declining Bias and Gender Wage Discrimination? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    11. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    12. Olga Shurchkov, 2012. "Under Pressure: Gender Differences In Output Quality And Quantity Under Competition And Time Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1189-1213, October.
    13. Fontana, Marzia & Wood, Adrian, 2000. "Modeling the Effects of Trade on Women, at Work and at Home," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1173-1190, July.
    14. William J. Merrilees, 1982. "Labour Market Segmentation in Canada: An Econometric Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 458-473, August.
    15. Erturk, Korkut & Darity, William Jr., 2000. "Secular Changes in the Gender Composition of Employment and Growth Dynamics in the North and the South," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1231-1238, July.
    16. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2016. "Gender Roles and Medical Progress," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 650-695.
    17. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
    18. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer, 2017. "Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(5), pages 1306-1355.
    19. Miyagiwa, Kaz & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2007. "Endogenous aggregate elasticity of substitution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2899-2919, September.
    20. Casey B. Mulligan, 2005. "Conscription as Regulation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 85-111.
    21. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Long-Run Substitutability Between More and Less Educated Workers: Evidence from U.S. States, 1950-1990," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 652-663, November.
    22. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. "A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
    23. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    24. Ghazala Azmat & Rosa Ferrer, 2017. "Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers," Post-Print hal-03391951, HAL.
    25. 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.
    26. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    27. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    28. Berndt, Ernst R, 1976. "Reconciling Alternative Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 59-68, February.
    29. Tam, Henry, 2011. "U-shaped female labor participation with economic development: Some panel data evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 140-142, February.
    30. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2011. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1103-1138, July.
    31. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259, Elsevier.
    32. Cristian L. Dezsö & David Gaddis Ross, 2012. "Does female representation in top management improve firm performance? A panel data investigation," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(9), pages 1072-1089, September.
    33. Johnson, George E & Blakemore, Arthur, 1979. "The Potential Impact of Employment Policy on the Unemployment Rate Consistent with Nonaccelerating Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 119-123, May.
    34. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "The Effect of Demographic Factors on Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 289-318.
    35. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2004. "Women, War, and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 497-551, June.
    36. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
    37. Walter S. McManus, 1988. "Aggregation and “The†Elasticity of Substitution," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 32(2), pages 41-44, October.
    38. Antràs Pol, 2004. "Is the U.S. Aggregate Production Function Cobb-Douglas? New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, April.
    39. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2010. "Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1330-1357, September.
    40. 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.
    41. Robert C. Feenstra & Zhiyuan Li & Miaojie Yu, 2014. "Exports and Credit Constraints under Incomplete Information: Theory and Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 729-744, October.
    42. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2007. "Factor Substitution and Factor-Augmenting Technical Progress in the United States: A Normalized Supply-Side System Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 183-192, February.
    43. Paola Giuliano, 2015. "The Role of Women in Society: from Preindustrial to Modern Times," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(1), pages 33-52.
    44. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Monique Newiak & Kalpana Kochhar & Stefania Fabrizio & Kangni R Kpodar & Philippe Wingender & Benedict J. Clements & Gerd Schwartz, 2013. "Women, Work, and the Economy; Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 13/10, International Monetary Fund.
    45. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Report 2012 [Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2012]," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 4391.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2016. "The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 405-434, October.
    2. Michael Knoblach & Fabian Stöckl, 2020. "What Determines The Elasticity Of Substitution Between Capital And Labor? A Literature Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 847-875, September.
    3. Haaland, Venke Furre & Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil & Votruba, Mark, 2018. "The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 132-146.
    4. El-Mallakh, Nelly & Maurel, Mathilde & Speciale, Biagio, 2018. "Arab spring protests and women's labor market outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian revolution," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 656-682.
    5. Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernandez Sierra, Manuel, 2018. "The distribution of the gender wage gap," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Victor Gay, 2017. "The Legacy of the Missing Men: The Long-Run Impact of World War I on Female Labor Force Participation," 2017 Papers pga905, Job Market Papers.
    7. Popov, Alexander, 2022. "The division of spoils in a booming industry," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 198(C), pages 341-369.
    8. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 17, pages 1543-1590, Elsevier.
    9. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1346-1434, December.
    10. L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-44, October.
    11. Ezra Oberfield & Devesh Raval, 2021. "Micro Data and Macro Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(2), pages 703-732, March.
    12. Sebastian Gechert & Tomas Havranek & Zuzana Irsova & Dominika Kolcunova, 2022. "Measuring Capital-Labor Substitution: The Importance of Method Choices and Publication Bias," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 45, pages 55-82, July.
    13. Paola Giuliano, 2017. "Gender: An Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 23635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Venke Furre Haaland & Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transfer of the Gender Gap in Labor Force Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4489, CESifo.
    15. Hyland,Marie Caitriona & Islam,Asif Mohammed & Muzi,Silvia, 2020. "Firms' Discriminatory Behavior, and Women's Employment in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9224, The World Bank.
    16. repec:eee:labchp:v:1:y:1986:i:c:p:429-471 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Working Papers wp2018_1706, CEMFI.
    18. Alessandra Fogli, 2019. "The Research Agenda: Alessandra Fogli on Social Context and Macroeconomic Outcomes," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 20(2), November.
    19. Stephan E. Maurer & Andrei V. Potlogea, 2021. "Male‐biased Demand Shocks and Women's Labour Force Participation: Evidence from Large Oil Field Discoveries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 88(349), pages 167-188, January.
    20. Akaev, Askar & Devezas, Tessaleno & Ichkitidze, Yuri & Sarygulov, Askar, 2021. "Forecasting the labor intensity and labor income share for G7 countries in the digital age," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    21. Maya Eden & Paul Gaggl, 2018. "On the Welfare Implications of Automation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 15-43, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aggregate production function; elasticity of substitution; Female Labor Force Participation; growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13792. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.