Women’s labor force participation has increased remarkably in western countries, but important gender gaps still remain, especially among parents. This paper uses a novel comparative perspective assessing women’s and men’s mid-life employment trajectories by parity and education. We provide new insight into the gendered parenthood penalty by analyzing the long-term implications, beyond the core childbearing ages by decomposing years lived between ages 40 to 74 into years in employment, inactivity, and retirement. We compare three countries with very different institutional settings and cultural norms: Finland, Italy, and the U.S. Our empirical approach uses the multistate incidence-based life table method. Our results document large cross-national variation, and the key role that education plays. In Finland years employed increase with parity for women and men and the gender gap is small; in the U.S. the relation between parity and years employed is relatively flat whereas among those with two or more children a gender gap emerges; and in Italy, years employed decreases sharply with parity for women, and increases for men. Education elevates years employed similarly for all groups in Finland; but in the U.S and Italy, highly educated mothers experience only half of the gender gap compared to low-educated mothers. The employment trajectories of childless women and men differ greatly across countries.
It is widely acknowledged that the quest for social status can result in an inefficient consumption ”rat-race” and the existing literature has discussed how taxes can mitigate the associated externalities. We suggest a new reason to tax conspicuous consumption. Our paper highlights that taxing status goods can achieve a more equitable distribution of welfare by compressing the status distribution. By curbing the conspicuous consumption of the wealthy, the government renders signaling less informative and increases the share of the social status surplus derived by the less wealthy. This ”status channel” serves as a complement to traditional monetary channels of redistribution.
State interventions to decrease the gender wage gap are often criticized for creating one-approach-forall which may be inappropriate for the specific difficulties faced by each sector and firm. In this paper, I study a unique policy where French firms were mandated by law to negotiate agreements on gender equality with union representatives. I estimate the causal effect of the signature of such agreements on the wage gap and other measures of gender inequalities. Using a unique combination of administrative datasets, I exploit the staggered signature of agreements over the 2010-2013 period and find that the law had an effect on the signature of those agreements but did not alter the gender wage gap nor many other outcomes reflecting gender inequalities. The absence of gender-related changes can plausibly be explained by the lack of obligation of result in the law and by the weak oversight of agreements’ content.
We study the joint design of nonlinear income and education taxes when the government pursues redistributive objectives. A key feature of our setup is that the ability type of an agent can affect both the costs and benefits of acquiring education. Market remuneration of agents depends on both their innate ability type and their educational choices. Our focus is on the properties of constrained efficient allocations when educational choices are publicly observable at the individual level, but earned income is subject to misreporting. We find that income-misreporting (IM) affects the optimal distortions on income and education and shed light on the reasons for it and mechanisms through which it is done. We show how and why IM strengthens the case for downward distorting the educational choices of low-ability agents. Finally, we find that IM provides another mechanism that makes commodity taxation useful.
The standard model of household behavior predicts that couples cooperate to maximize family income. This paper shows that gender identity norms repre- sent an important friction preventing family income maximization. For identi- fication, we focus on an Italian policy that grants a large tax credit to the main earner in a couple when the second earner reports income below a cutoff. Using new tax returns data, we show large bunching responses at the tax credit cut- off from second earner women, but no response from second earner men. This result suggests that household decisions are not Pareto-efficient when men are the second earner within the couple. Gender differences in bunching mostly emerge after marriage and childbirth, and do not reflect any gender-specific dif- ference in scope for bunching. In support of the view that gender norms drive our results, we find that gender differences in bunching are relatively larger among immigrants coming from more conservative societies, and natives liv- ing in more gender-traditional municipalities. Additionally, these results have important implications for gender inequality: we show that the spouse tax credit persistently limits women’s careers and amplifies the gender income gap.
This study provides a review of the concept of family ties. It then measures family ties in an unprecedentedly all-encompassing way, accounting for the individual
eterogeneity (by context, gender, education and age) that may affect them, looking at the patterns of variation among the different dimensions. Indeed, a large number of indicators have been used in the literature to measure family ties, but the inter-relation among their dimensions has rarely been explicitly taken into account. Furthermore, family ties have been assumed to be invariant among different individuals, without any formal test of this assumption. The analysis is based on Italian National Statistical Office (ISTAT) survey on family and social subjects (FFS 2016) on 24,753 individuals. A Structural Equation Model (SEM) is used to measure the different family tie dimensions and to test their invariance by individual characteristics. The results bring out seven dimensions of family ties. These dimensions are invariant by context and gender, but not by education and age. These findings offer a clear picture of the concept of family ties and show how this concept is differently perceived on the basis of some ascribed and some acquired personal characteristics.
We analyze the relationship between natives' attitudes towards citizenship acquisition for foreigners and trust. Our hypothesis is that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the slave trade represents the deep factor behind contemporary attitudes toward citizenship, with more intense exposure to historical slave exports for an individual's ethnic group being associated with contemporary distrust for strangers, and in turn opposition to citizenship laws that favor the inclusion of foreigners. We find that individuals who are more trusting do show more positive attitudes towards the acquisition of citizenship at birth for children of foreigners, that these attitudes are also negatively related to the intensity of the slave trade, and that the underlying link between trust and the slave trade is confirmed. Alternative factors - conflict, kinship, and witchcraft beliefs - that, through trust, may affect attitudes toward citizenship, are not generating the same distinctive pattern of linkages emerging from the slave trade.
Robots have radically changed the demand for skills and the role of workers in production at an unprecedented pace, with little scope for human capital adjustments. This has affected the job stability and the economic perspectives of large parts of the population in all industrialized countries. Recent evidence on the US labor market has shown negative effects of robots on employment and wages. In this study, we examine how exposure to robots and its consequences on job stability and economic uncertainty have affected individual demographic behavior. To establish this relationship, we use data from the American Community Survey and the International Federation of Robotics and we adopt an empirical strategy that relies on regional industry specialization before the advent of robots combined with the growth of robot adoption by industry. We ﬁrst document the differential effect of robots on the labor market opportunities of men and women. We ﬁnd that in regions that were more exposed to robots, the gender-income and labor-force-participation gaps declined. We then show that US regions affected by intense robot penetration experienced a decrease in new marriages, and an increase in both divorce and cohabitation. While there was no change in overall fertility rate, marital fertility declined, and there was an increase in out-of-wedlock births. Our ﬁndings are consistent with the hypothesis that the changes in labor markets triggered by robot adoption increased uncertainty, reduced the relative marriage-market value of men, and the willingness to commit for the long term.