Norms and Specialization in Household Production: Evidence from a Danish Parental Leave Reform
The arrival of children implies a sharp reduction in mothers’ earnings and labor supply while fathers’ labor market trajectories are unaffected. To understand this specialization, I exploit a Danish parental leave reform. Upon reform implementation, mothers increase their leave by 5 weeks while the average leave duration of fathers remains unchanged, irrespectively of relative earnings. Consistent with the role of gender identity, women who had a working mother take a shorter leave than those with a stayat-home mother. Moreover, I document peer effects among sisters who take a longer leave if exposed to the reform-induced change in leave duration.
Click here for the most recent version of the paper (October 2022)
Gender Gaps from Labor Market Shocks
with Ria Ivandic
Job loss leads to persistent adverse labor market outcomes, but assessments of gender differences in labor market recovery are lacking. We utilize plant closures in Denmark to estimate gender gaps in labor market outcomes and document that women face an increased risk of unemployment in the two years following job displacement. We decompose the gender gap and show that human capital explains half of women’s increased risk of unemployment. In addition, childcare imposes an important barrier for women’s labor market recovery regardless of individual characteristics. Gender differences in sorting across occupations and sectors prior to displacement play a very minor role.
Click here for the most recent version of the paper (November 2022)
Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Segregation
Many western economies have seen a fall in the employment share of the traditionally male-dominated, manufacturing sector, while demand is increasing in female-dominated jobs. Still, men appear reluctant to enter these occupations. To understand persistent labor market segregation, I exploit within-school-across-cohort variation in the gender composition of the occupations of schoolmates’ parents, and document that gender segregation is transmitted from one generation to the next. Boys who were exposed to gender-stereotypical male role models enter male-dominated occupations, while those socialized in cohorts with peers whose fathers worked alongside women enter occupations with more women. This effect goes beyond the influence of their father. In general, mothers’ labor market behavior has negligible effects on boys. In contrast, girls are mainly influenced by female role models, and compared to boys the effects are much smaller. However, when a larger share of mothers works full-time, gender segregation decreases in the next generation.
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