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On Gender Gaps and Self-fulfilling Expectations: Theory, Policies and Some Empirical Evidence

  • de la Rica, Sara
  • Dolado, Juan J.
  • García-Peñalosa, Cecilia

This paper considers a simple model of self-fulfilling expectations that leads to a multiple equilibrium of gender gaps in wages and participation rates. Rather than resorting to moral hazard problems related to unobservable effort, like in most of the related literature, our model fully relies on statistical discrimination. If firms believe that women will quit their jobs more often than equally productive men when shocks affecting household chores take place, our model predicts that this belief will increase the wage gap in favour of men which, in turn, will increase the female share of housework and exacerbate lower female participation in the labour market. Hence, both effects lead to a gendered equilibrium with large gaps, even though an ungendered equilibrium with no gaps is feasible. We examine the effects of gender-based and gender-neutral subsidies and find that the latter are more effective in removing the gendered equilibrium. Empirical analysis based on a time use survey for Spain is provided to test most of the implications of the model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6883.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6883
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  1. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  2. Claudia Olivetti, 2005. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-008, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Jun 2006.
  3. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume & Steinar Vagstad, 2013. "Mommy tracks and public policy: On self-fulfilling prophecies and gender gaps in promotion," NIPE Working Papers 5/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  4. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2005. "Unequal pay or unequal employment? A cross-country analysis of gender gaps," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-008, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2007. "Against 'Gender-based taxation'," CEPR Discussion Papers 6582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 933, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1998. "Household Labor Supply, Sharing Rule and the Marriage Market," Cahiers de recherche 9810, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  8. Albanesi, Stefania & Olivetti, Claudia, 2005. "Home Production, Market Production and the Gender Wage Gap: Incentives and Expectations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Gender roles and technological progress," 2006 Meeting Papers 411, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2002. "Subject of Degree and the Gender Wage Differential: Evidence from the UK and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 553, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  12. Alesina, Alberto & Ichino, Andrea & Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2007. "Gender Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," IZA Discussion Papers 3233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1990. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Job Ladders," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S106-23, January.
  14. Donohue, John J., 2007. "Antidiscrimination Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  15. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  16. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-99, July.
  17. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  18. Chiappori, P.A., 1994. "Introducing Household Production in Collective Models of Labour Suply," DELTA Working Papers 94-18, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  19. Andrea Bassanini & Anne Saint-Martin, 2008. "The Price of Prejudice: Labour Market Discrimination on the Grounds of Gender and Ethnicity," Working Papers halshs-00312794, HAL.
  20. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
  21. John J. Donohue III, 2005. "The Law and Economics of Antidiscrimination Law," NBER Working Papers 11631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:1:p:78-118 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
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