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How (Not) to make women work?

Author

Listed:
  • Karolina Goraus

    (The World Bank
    University of Warsaw)

  • Joanna Tyrowicz

    (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE)
    University of Warsaw
    Institut für Arbeitsrecht und Arbeitsbeziehungen in der Europäischen Union (IAAEU)
    Institute of Labor Economics (IZA))

  • Lucas van der Velde

    (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE))

Abstract

Women in developed economies have experienced an unparalleled increase in employment rates, to the point that the gap with respect to men was cut in half. This positive trend has often been attributed to changes in the opportunity costs of working (e.g. access to caring facilities) and not-working (e.g. educational attainment). Meanwhile, the gender employment gaps were stagnant in transition economies. Admittedly, employment equality among genders was initially much higher in transition countries. We exploit this unique evidence from transition and advanced countries, to analyze the distributional nonlinearities in the relationship between the institutional environment and the (adjusted) gender employment gaps. We estimate comparable gender employment gaps on nearly 1600 micro databases from over 40 countries. We relate these estimates to changes in the opportunity costs of working and not-working. Changes in opportunity costs exhibited stronger correlation with gender employment equality where the gap was larger, i.e. advanced economies. We provide some evidence that these results are not explained away by transition-based theories, and argue that the observed patterns reflect a level effect. Currently, advanced and transition economies are at par in terms of gender employment equality. Hence, the existing instruments might not be sufficient to further reduce the gender employment gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Karolina Goraus & Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "How (Not) to make women work?," GRAPE Working Papers 1, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:fme:wpaper:1
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    Cited by:

    1. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "When the opportunity knocks: large structural shocks and gender wage gaps," GRAPE Working Papers 2, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
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    3. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2018. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(4), pages 583-606, December.
    4. de Pinto Marco & Goerke Laszlo, 2019. "Efficiency Wages in Cournot-Oligopoly," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(4), pages 1-13, October.
    5. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas Augusto van der Velde, 2021. "When Opportunity Knocks: Confronting Theory and Empirics About Dynamics of Gender Wage Inequality," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 837-864, June.
    6. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2018. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(4), pages 583-606, December.
    7. Laszlo Goerke & Michael Neugart, 2020. "Thorstein Veblen, Joan Robinson, and George Stigler (probably) never met: Social Preferences, Monopsony, and Government Intervention," IAAEU Discussion Papers 202001, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; gender gaps; opportunity cost of working; transition; non-parametric estimates;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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