IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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

  • de la Rica, Sara


    (University of the Basque Country)

  • Dolado, Juan J.


    (European University Institute)

  • 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 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 some implications of the model.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3553.

in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Enquiry, 2012, 51 (3), 1829-1848
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3553
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Olivetti, Claudia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2006. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," IZA Discussion Papers 1941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Home Production, Market Production and the Gender Wage Gap: Incentives and Expectations," NBER Working Papers 12212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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).
  4. Lommerud, K.E. & Vagstad, S., 2000. "Mommy Tracks and Public Policy: On Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Gender Gaps in Promotion," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 0600, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  5. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
  6. Thomas Mroz, . "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  7. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1997. "Introducing Household Production in Collective Models of Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 191-209, February.
  8. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2007. "Against 'Gender-based taxation'," CEPR Discussion Papers 6582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:1:p:78-118 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Training in Europe," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  17. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
  18. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  19. Albanesi, Stefania & Olivetti, Claudia, 2007. "Gender Roles and Technological Progress," CEPR Discussion Papers 6352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  21. John J. Donohue III, 2005. "The Law and Economics of Antidiscrimination Law," NBER Working Papers 11631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
  23. Donohue, John J., 2007. "Antidiscrimination Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3553. 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: (Mark Fallak)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.