Thu, Aug 11 2022, 9:00am - Fri, Aug 12 2022, 5:00pm PDT
Lucas Conference Center, Room A
Landau Economics Building
579 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford
[In-person session]
Organized by
  • Alejandro Martinez-Marquina, Cornell University
  • Muriel Niederle, Stanford University
  • Heather Sarsons, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Alessandra Voena, Stanford University

This workshop will be dedicated to understanding how gender influences economic outcomes and decision-making. We plan to invite submissions of papers whose main focus is on gender, regardless of field, to foster dialogue across areas. In addition to faculty members, we also invite graduate students on the job market to submit their paper for shorter graduate student talks.

In This Session

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Aug 11

8:30 am - 9:00 am PDT

Registration Check-In • Breakfast

Aug 11

9:00 am - 9:40 am PDT

Gender Gaps in Academia: Global Evidence Over the Twentieth Century

Presented by: Fabian Waldinger (University of Munich)∗
Co-author(s): Alessandro Iaria (University of Bristol) and Carlo Schwarz (Bocconi University)

We hand-collect the largest database of university academics ever assembled to study gender gaps over an unprecedented time-span and geographic coverage, focusing on four career outcomes (hiring, publications, citations, and promotions). First, we document that over the twentieth century, the share of women increased all around the world, with particularly large increases since 1970. However, we uncover substantial heterogeneity across countries. Second, we estimate negative gender gaps in publications of about 0.3 s.d. and find a U-shaped evolution over the course of the century: publication gaps were close to 0 in times with very low shares of women, then widened until 1970, only to narrow again until 2000. A Roy model describes the stylized connection between gender gaps and shows that gaps in hiring have repercussions
on gaps in publications. Third, we estimate negative gender gaps in citations, which hold even after controlling for research topics with a novel machine-learning approach. Fourth, we show negative gender gaps in promotions, which hold even after controlling for publications and citations.

Aug 11

9:40 am - 10:20 am PDT

Women in Science. Lessons from the Baby Boom

Presented by: Petra Moser (NYU)
Co-author(s): Scott Daewon Kim (Wharton)

How do children affect women in science? We investigate this question using rich biographical data - linked with publications - for 83,000 American scientists in 1956, at the height of the baby boom. Our data reveal a unique life-cycle pattern for mothers. They become less productive in their early 30s (following the birth of their first child) and recover in their late 30s. Event studies show that children reduce the productivity of mothers but not fathers. Gender differences in the impact of children are especially pronounced for couples of academic scientists. Differences in the timing of productivity have important implications for promotions. Just 27% of mothers who are academic scientists achieve tenure, compared with 48% of fathers and 46% of women without children. While other scientists receive tenure when they have reached their peak productivity, publications by mothers continue to increase for several years after tenure.

Aug 11

10:20 am - 10:50 am PDT


Aug 11

10:50 am - 11:30 am PDT

Gender Misperceptions Around the World

Presented by: David Yanagizawa (University of Zurich)
Co-author(s): Leonardo Bursztyn (University of Chicago), Alexander Cappelen (Norwegian School of Economics - NHH Bergen), Bertil Tungodden, and Alessandra Voena (Stanford University)

It is well established that what people perceive as the norms or attitudes in society affects behavior. Whether those perceptions are correct or incorrect can have drastically different policy implications: the scope for behavioral change through low-cost information interventions is greater under incorrect priors, but the direction of impact of such interventions depend on the nature of the misperceptions. In this paper, we present new facts on perceived vs. actual gender norms – previously not examined systematically across the globe – using newly-collected nationally representative datasets from 60 countries, covering 80% of the world population. Among potential measures of gender norms, we focus on two distinct dimensions: 1) equality in basic rights, by allowing women to work outside of the home, and 2) equality in outcomes through affirmative action, by prioritizing women when hiring for leadership positions. The first dimension is particularly relevant in countries with unequal rights and thus low levels of gender equality, and the second dimension is pertinent to countries with equal rights but remaining gaps in outcomes. We detect a few striking patters. First, in essentially all countries misperceptions are substantial, for both what women and men prefer. Second, two distinct patterns arise globally: In countries with low levels of gender equality, people underestimate the support for equalization of rights across the sexes, particularly by men. By contrast, in countries with relatively high gender equality where rights are equal, people overestimate support for equality through affirmative action, particularly by women. Third, men and women appear to be stereotyped, in the sense that differences in what policies women prefer, versus what men prefer, are systematically exaggerated. In countries with high (low) levels of equality, misperceptions are driven by false perceived support of what women (men) prefer - their support for affirmative action (equal rights) is lower (higher) than what people perceive. Taken together, across the globe, women and men are more in agreement about gender equality than they perceive, but perceived support is distorted systematically depending on the progress already achieved. We speculate on the underlying sources of these patterns, with some suggestive evidence.

Aug 11

11:30 am - 12:10 pm PDT

Chess Paper

Presented by: Muriel Niederle
Aug 11

12:10 pm - 1:20 pm PDT


Aug 11

1:20 pm - 2:00 pm PDT

Gender Differences in Job Search and the Earnings Gap: Evidence from the Field and Lab

Presented by: Basit Zafar (University of Michigan)
Co-author(s): Patricia Cortes (Boston University), Jessica Pan (National University of Singapore), Ernesto Reuben (NYU Abu Dhabi), and Laura Pilossoph

This paper investigates gender differences in the job search process, both in the field and lab. First, we collect rich information on job offers and acceptances from undergraduates of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. We document two novel empirical facts: (1) there is a clear gender difference in the timing of job offer acceptance, with women accepting jobs substantially earlier than men, and (2) the gender earnings gap in accepted offers narrows in favor of women over the course of the job search period. To rationalize these patterns, we develop a job search model that incorporates gender differences in risk aversion and overoptimism about prospective offers. We validate the model assumptions and predictions using the survey data, and present empirical evidence that the job search patterns in the field can be partly explained by greater risk aversion displayed by women and the higher levels of overoptimism (and slower belief updating) displayed by men. Next, we replicate the findings from the field in a specially-designed laboratory experiment that features sequential job search, and provide direct evidence on the purported mechanisms. Our findings highlight the importance of risk preferences and beliefs for gender differences in job-finding behavior, and consequently, early career wage gaps among the highly-skilled.

Aug 11

2:00 pm - 2:40 pm PDT

Coupling Labor Supply Decisions: An Experiment in India

Presented by: Madeline McKelway (Dartmouth College)
Co-author(s): Matt Lowe (University of British Columbia)

We study household decision-making about female employment in India. We randomized which spouse was given a ticket enabling enrollment in a women’s weaving job, and cross-randomized the other to receive no information about the ticket, information, or information and discussion with their spouse. Consistent with a bargaining model with frictions, most experts predict information and discussion should raise enrollment. Instead, information had no effect, and discussion reduced enrollment by 40-50%. Negative effects are driven by couples in which the non-ticketed spouse was less supportive of female weavers, consistent with a model in which involving both spouses gives each a veto.

Aug 11

2:40 pm - 3:10 pm PDT


Aug 11

3:10 pm - 3:50 pm PDT

The Dynamics of Abusive Relationships

Presented by: Abi Adams-Prassl (University of Oxford)
Co-author(s): Kristiina Huttunen (Aalto University), Emily Nix (University of Southern California), and Ning Zhang (University of Oxford)

Policy makers now recognise that domestic abuse encompasses a range of damaging behaviours beyond physical violence, including economic and emotional abuse. However, no evidence currently exists on the impact of cohabiting with an abuser on women’s labour market outcomes. We match police records on all crime reports in Finland between 2006-2019 to population administrative employment, earnings, and cohabitation records. 2.7% of all cohabitation spells that started in this period are associated with at least one report of domestic abuse. Rates are even higher for certain subgroups, for example 5% of couples with large gaps in completed education experience a domestic abuse report. Using a matched control event study design along with a within-individual comparison of outcomes across relationships, we show that women suffer large and significant earnings and employment falls upon cohabiting with an abusive partner. We use our findings to motivate a dynamic structural model of household behaviour featuring multiple bargaining types (cooperative and non-cooperative), endogenous violence reporting and break-up.

Aug 11

3:50 pm - 4:05 pm PDT

Sex, Drugs, and R&D: Missing Innovation from Regulating Female Enrollment in Clinical Trials

Presented by: Valerie Michelman (University of Chicago)
Co-author(s): Lucy Msall (University of Chicago)

This paper considers the consequences of unequal representation in research. From 1977-1993, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance that “women of childbearing potential” should not be included as human subjects in early-stage clinical trials. We study how the pharmaceutical industry’s response to the guidance shaped the course of innovation serving men and women. We develop a model of drug development which predicts that the guidance leads to less innovation for female-focused drugs. Compliance with the guidance decreases the informativeness of clinical trials for drugs intended to treat predominantly female diseases, resulting in higher expected costs. To bring our theory to the data, we link biomedical patents, commercial data on drug development, and FDA records of approved drugs. By exploiting the contrast between drug and non-drug biomedical patents, we estimate that the guidance resulted in a sex-specific drug innovation gap of 13%. We test for downstream effects on drug development and approval. Our results inform current policy tradeoffs about underrepresentation of racial minorities, pregnant people, and older adults in clinical research.

Aug 11

4:05 pm - 4:20 pm PDT

Undergraduate Gender Diversity and Direction of Scientific Research

Presented by: Ashley Wong (Northwestern University)
Co-author(s): Francesca Truffa (Northwestern University)

Can diversity lead to greater research focus on populations underrepresented in science? Diverse researchers can bring new questions and perspectives, but exposure to diversity may also inspire scientists, regardless of demographic identity, to pursue new topics. This paper studies a new determinant of research ideas: the diversity of the academic environment. Between 1960 and 1990, 76 all male US universities, including many elite and prominent research institutions, transitioned to coeducation. Using a generalized difference-in-differences design, we document a 42% increase in the number of gender-related research publications authored by scholars at newly coed universities. This increase is explained by a combination of a more diverse researcher pool in terms of gender and prior research interests, as well as a shift in the research focus of individual scientists towards more gender-related topics. A bounding exercise suggests that the direct effects of the policy on scientists’ research focus can account for more than half of these gains. These findings suggest that a diverse academic environment can influence the direction of scientific research.

Aug 11

4:20 pm - 4:35 pm PDT

Understanding Gender Discrimination by Managers

Presented by: Christina Brown (University of Chicago)

Pakistan ranks in the lowest decile in female labor force participation, and even in sectors where women are more prevalent, such as teaching, they earn 70 cents for each dollar men earn. While we have extensive evidence on the prevalence of gender bias in hiring, promotions and wages, we know less about the mechanisms underlying this bias and the extent to which certain personnel policies may mitigate or exacerbate these biases. To test this, I conduct a large scale field experiment with 3,600 employees in 250 schools and randomly vary i). how often managers observe a given employee and ii). whether manager evaluations affect employee’s pay or are just used for feedback. First, I find when there are no financial stakes associated with performance evaluations, there is no gender bias. This is true both using data from actual performance evaluations, controlling for the aspects of performance I observe, and for randomized vignettes varying the gender of the teacher. In contrast, when principals’ evaluations determine teachers’ end of year raise, we see that female teachers receive 10% lower raises, controlling for productivity. However, when principals are randomly assigned to conduct more frequent classroom observations of teachers, this lowers their evaluations of male teachers and results in gender parity in evaluation scores even under financial stakes. Combined this suggests that improving the accuracy of manager information could close the gender gap in performance evaluations, even in high stakes settings.

Aug 11

4:35 pm - 4:50 pm PDT

Designing Gender Equity: Evidence from Hiring Practices and Committees

Presented by: Tatiana Mocanu (UIUC/UCL)

This paper analyzes how different screening practices affect gender equity in hiring. I transform tens of millions of high-dimensional, unstructured records from Brazil’s public sector into selection processes with detailed information on candidates, evaluators, screening tools, and scores. Exploiting a federal policy reform that required the use of more impartial hiring practices, I find that increasing screening impartiality improves women’s evaluation scores, application rates, and probability of being hired. To better understand which design choices reduce gender disparities, I leverage variation in how different hiring processes complied with greater impartiality. I find that the most effective changes to increase women’s hiring odds involve i) adding blind written tests to a hiring process that already uses subjective methods, such as interviews, or ii) converting subjective rounds into only blind written tests. However, when employers remove subjective stages, gender hiring gaps remain unchanged. Finally, more gender-balanced hiring committees induce male evaluators to become more favorable toward female candidates in subjective stages. To interpret these results, I develop a model of hiring in which evaluator bias, tool bias, and screening precision jointly determine relative hiring outcomes by gender. In light of my findings, the model suggests that both evaluator bias and lower screening precision disadvantage female applicants. Screening changes that limit discretion in existing hiring practices or add new impartial screening tools reduce the gender hiring gap, while policies that eliminate subjective screening tools are ineffective because the loss of screening precision outweighs the reduction in evaluator bias.

Aug 11

4:50 pm - 5:00 pm PDT


Friday, August 12, 2022

Aug 12

8:30 am - 9:00 am PDT

Registration Check-In • Breakfast

Aug 12

9:00 am - 9:15 am PDT

The Central Role of the Ask in Gender Pay Inequality

Presented by: Nina Roussille (LSE)

The gender ask gap measures the extent to which women ask for lower salaries than comparable men. This paper studies the role of the ask gap in generating wage inequality, using novel data from, an online recruitment platform for full-time engineering jobs in the United States. To use the platform, job candidates must post an ask salary, stating how much
they want to make in their next job. Firms then apply to candidates by offering them a bid salary, solely based on the candidate’s resume and ask salary. If the candidate is hired, a final salary is recorded. After adjusting for resume characteristics, the ask gap is 2.9%, the gap in
bid salaries is 2.2%, and the gap in final offers is 1.4%. Remarkably, further controlling for the ask salary explains the entirety of the residual gender gaps in bid and final salaries. To estimate the market-level effects of an increase in women’s ask salaries, I exploit an unanticipated change in how candidates were prompted to provide their ask. For some candidates in mid-2018, the answer box used to solicit the ask salary was changed from an empty field to an entry pre-filled with the median bid salary for similar candidates. Using an interrupted time series design, I find that this change drove the ask gap, the bid and the final offer gap to zero. In addition, women did not receive fewer bids or final offers than men did due to the change, suggesting they
faced little penalty for demanding wages comparable to men.

Aug 12

9:15 am - 9:30 am PDT

Credit and the Family: The Economic Consequences of Closing the Credit Gap of US Couples

Presented by: Olivia S. Kim (HBS and NBER)

Closing disparities in credit access between spouses can help reduce consumption inequality in the household. The 2013 reversal of the Truth-in-Lending Act increased the borrowing capacity of secondary earners in equitable-distribution states but not in community-property states, where division-of-property laws superseded the policy change. Using a matched
difference-in-differences design and administrative financial-transaction records measuring the credit and consumption of each spouse, I show that this reversal increased secondary earners’ credit card limits by $1,025. In turn, spouses shared consumption more equally, closing their pre-reversal consumption gap by 10 percent. Household spending shifted toward goods that benefit both spouses. Delinquency rates were not measurably impacted, suggesting that household financial standing did not worsen. These results are consistent with a model of joint decision-making under limited commitment, in which credit causes a shift in marital bargaining power.

Aug 12

9:30 am - 9:45 am PDT

The Transparency Gap

Presented by: Mattie Toma (Warwick Business School)
Co-author(s): Christine L. Exley (Harvard Business School), Raymond Fisman (Boston University), and Judd B. Kessler (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Motivated by potential drivers of gender gaps in educational and labor market outcomes, we investigate whether women are less likely than men to conceal poor performance. We exploit an unusual policy implemented at a large U.S. university in the spring of 2020—that allowed students to observe their final letter grades for each course they had taken and to switch any passing grade to “Credit,” omitting the grade from their transcript and GPA calculation. We find that women are 15 percent less likely than men to conceal letter grades that would reduce their GPA. We call this gender difference the transparency gap and use our data—over 65,000 decisions made by more than 15,000 students—to provide evidence about its drivers.

Aug 12

9:45 am - 10:00 am PDT

Peer Effects and the Gender Gap in Corporate Leadership: Evidence from MBA Students

Presented by: Francesca Truffa (Northwestern University)
Co-author(s): Menaka Hampole (Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University) and Ashley Wong (Northwestern University)

Women continue to be underrepresented in corporate leadership positions. This paper studies the role of social connections in women’s career advancement. We inves-
tigate whether access to a larger share of female peers in business school affects the gender gap in senior managerial positions. Merging administrative data from a top-10 US business school with public LinkedIn profiles, we first document that female MBAs are 24 percent less likely than male MBAs to enter senior management within 15 years of graduation. Next, we use the exogenous assignment of students into sections to
show that a larger proportion of female MBA section peers increases the likelihood of entering senior management for women but not for men. This effect is driven by female-friendly firms, such as those with more generous maternity leave policies and greater work schedule flexibility. A larger proportion of female MBA peers induces women to transition to these firms where they attain senior management roles. We find suggestive evidence that some of the mechanisms behind these results include job referrals and gender-specific information transmission. These findings highlight the
role of social connections in reducing the gender gap in senior management positions.

Aug 12

10:00 am - 10:40 am PDT

Gender Differences in Non-Promotable Tasks: The Case of Clinical Note-Taking

Presented by: Ulrike Malmendier (UC Berkeley)
Co-author(s): Bryan Chu (UC Berkeley), Ben Handel (UC Berkeley), and Jon Kolstad (UC Berkeley)

Medicine has a reputation of being a gender-egalitarian profession, but there is also evidence on persistent differences in hours worked as well as procedures and tasks performed. We investigate gender differences in the intensive margin in detail using a unique dataset that contains granular information based on the Electronic Medical Records and Audit Log at a large teaching hospital. Our main sample contains 723 physicians, of which about 48% are women. In this highly standardized environment, we find that even after controlling for a detailed set of physician attributes, women spend about 18.5% more time on notes per shift than men. Preliminary results on the implications for patients suggest that patients who received with more detailed notes because their care team was more female receive fewer medical orders the following day, pointing to faster convergence towards the final diagnosis and thus positive welfare implications of more detailed note taking. These findings have implications not only for understanding gender inequities among physicians but also for understanding variation in patient outcomes.

Aug 12

10:40 am - 11:10 am PDT


Aug 12

11:10 am - 11:50 am PDT

The Summer Drop in Female Employment

Presented by: Melanie Wasserman (UCLA)
Co-author(s): Brendan Price (Federal Reserve Board)
Aug 12

11:50 am - 12:30 pm PDT

Parents’ Effective Time Endowment and Divorce: Evidence from Extended School Days

Presented by: Maria Padilla-Romo (University of Tennessee)
Co-author(s): Cecilia Peluffo (University of Florida) and Mariana Viollaz (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales)

Policies that extend the school day in elementary school provide an implicit childcare subsidy for families. As such, they can affect parents’ time allocation and family dynamics. This paper examines how extending the school day affects families by focusing on marriage dissolution. We exploit the staggered adoption of a policy that extended the availability of full-time elementary schools across different municipalities in Mexico. Using administrative data on divorces, we find that the extension in the school day by 3.5 hours leads to a significant increase in divorce rates. Moreover, the effect grows with every year of municipalities’ exposure to full-time schooling. Increased female employment due to the availability of childcare is likely to be one of the mechanisms that relaxed restrictions to marriage dissolution.

Aug 12

12:30 pm - 1:40 pm PDT


Aug 12

1:40 pm - 2:20 pm PDT

Who Ya Gonna Call?: Gender Inequality in Demand for Parental

Presented by: Olga Stoddard (Brigham Young University)
Co-author(s): Kristy Buzard (Syracuse University) and Laura Gee (Tufts University)

Prior studies find a significant inequality in time spent by men and women in heterosexual households on child-related tasks even when both work full time. This inequality has been linked to gender inequalities in a wide range of labor market outcomes, human capital accumulation, and economic mobility. We investigate an important potential source of this inequality: external demands for parental involvement. We pair a novel theoretical model with a large-scale field experiment to assess whether mothers are more likely than fathers to be contacted by their child’s school and whether this inequality varies by (1) signaling a parent’s availability and (2) the gender of the person contacting a parent. We decompose the inequality into “statistical” and “taste-based” discrimination to better inform policies aimed at closing gender gaps. Moreover, variation in demographic characteristics across the universe of schools in our sample allows us to study the implications of our findings for households at various points of the income distribution. 

Aug 12

2:20 pm - 3:00 pm PDT

The Signaling Role of Parental Leave

Presented by: Linh T. Tô (Boston University)

This paper evaluates the hypothesis that, in setting wages, firms respond to costly signals by workers when such costs are informative of their values to the firms. For workers who become mothers, uncertainty about their future values can influence firms' decisions to distribute career and promotion opportunities. Consequently, workers may forgo paid parental leave even when there is no human capital depreciation associated with taking leave. I build a signaling model with a continuous choice of leave period when such choice is restricted due to the maximum allowed paid leave duration. Using administrative data from Denmark and a parental leave policy extending the maximum allowed duration of parental leave, I show how a leave extension affects wages, hours, and promotion opportunities for workers whose signaling ability changes with the extension. In contrast to human capital theory, an individual can take longer leave but gain in wages when the larger choice set allows more workers to signal their type. The paper provides evidence of the labor market consequences of parental leave-taking due to signaling and the importance of asymmetric information in shaping parental leave choice.

Aug 12

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm PDT


Aug 12

3:30 pm - 4:10 pm PDT

Frontier Gender Norms: History and Legacy

Presented by: Samuel Bazzi (UC San Diego, CEPR, and NBER)
Co-author(s): Abel Brodeur (University of Ottawa), Joanne Haddad (Universite Libre de Bruxelles), and Martin Fiszbein (Boston University and NBER)

This paper explores the cultural foundations of gender inequality in the United States. We show how the process of westward expansion and frontier settlement shaped gender norms historically and over the long run. The historical record offers disparate views about the female experience on the frontier. Some emphasize its liberating aspects and others its regressive tendencies. We present new evidence consistent with both views. Alongside higher fertility and lower female labor force participation, frontier locations also had relatively more women working in high-status occupations. Yet, for most women, isolation from extended family and the lack of social infrastructure limited the scope for life outside the home, working against some of the additional bargaining power one might find in female-scarce environments. Over the long run, counties with greater 19th century frontier experience exhibit more conservative gender attitudes as women work less in the labor market but also take less leisure. Overall, our findings suggest that the isolating conditions on the frontier fostered inegalitarian gender norms at critical junctures of development across America.

Aug 12

4:10 pm - 4:50 pm PDT

Structural Transformation and 150 Years of Women's and Men's Work

Presented by: Claudia Olivetti (Dartmouth College)
Co-author(s): Rachel L. Ngai (London School of Economics) and Barbara Petrongolo (University of Oxford)

We build a consistent measure of male and female employment for the US over the last one hundred and fifty years -- encompassing intensive and extensive margins -- combining data from the US population Census and several early state-level surveys on various personal and economic circumstances of individuals. The resulting measure of employment, which includes paid work as well as unpaid work in family business and corrects for other sources of under-reporting, displays a slight U-shape over time for women and a strong decline for men. We empirically and theoretically relate these patterns to the process of structural transformation, and namely the reallocation of labor from female-intensive agriculture into male-intensive manufacturing at early stages of development, and from manufacturing into female-intensive services at later stages. We propose a multisector model of the economy, where the interplay between uneven productivity growth and consumption complementarities across sectors predicts the modernization of agriculture and decline of family farms, the rise in manufacturing and services, and the marketization of home production. The downward portion of the U-shaped pattern is associated with the decline in agricultural employment and the disappearance of the family farm, while the upward portion is driven by the expansion of the service economy, to the detriment of manufacturing, and the marketization of home production.