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Gender Relations at Work, Labor Market and Family Policies: Outcomes on Women’s Empowerment, Career Development and Well-Being

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 203-A
Hosted By: Labor and Employment Relations Association & International Association for Feminist Economics
  • Chair: Eugenia Correa Vazquez, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Effect of New Jersey's Paid Family Leave Policy of 2009 on Maternal Health and Well-being

Ipshita Pal
Columbia University


Effect of New Jersey's Paid Family Leave Policy of 2009 on Maternal Health and Well-Being

Diversity is More than Numbers: The Wage Effects of Supervisor-Worker Gender Match

Liwen Chen
University of South Carolina


This study explores the relationship between workers’ wages and the gender of supervisors, conditioning on the occupational gender composition. It develops a theoretical model suggesting that supervisors’ task assignment accuracy is affected disparately in occupations of different gender types, leading to varying degrees of skill
mismatch among workers. This leads to average wage differences between workers with same-gender supervisors and those with opposite-gender supervisors in different occupations. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, the empirical evidence suggests that workers have better occupation-skill matches and higher average wages if they work with same-gender supervisors in occupations dominated by same-gender workers. Although not significant at the early career stage, supervisor wage effects emerge as a worker’s career develops. These findings emphasize the importance of supervisors’ task assignment accuracy in workplace gender wage disparity, and underscore the necessity of integrating minority managers to the “gendered” organizational contexts.

Whose Career Comes First? Household Bargaining and Joint Career Migration Among Medical Couples

Rebecca Lehrman
Duke University


Women’s earnings potential relative to their male partners has increased over the past fifty years, yet men’s careers continue to be prioritized in dual-career couples. Focusing on household migration decisions, this study investigates whether expectations of traditional career precedence—prioritizing the man’s career over the woman’s career in heterosexual couples—persist among high-achieving professional equals. Using an experimental vignette survey, this project causally tests household bargaining theories by disentangling the effects of individuals’ economic resources (i.e. earnings potential and educational ability), couple’s childcare plans, and gender norms on joint career outcomes. By focusing on the career outcomes of medical student couples applying to residency program, this project exploits a unique official process known as “Couples Match” whereby couples create a joint ranking of their individual preferences. This process enables the test of whether respondents use different evaluation standards for men and women when determining career precedence, and if so, under what conditions. By presenting respondents with the rank-ordered program preferences of each hypothetical partner and their childcare plans, this project has the advantage of a clear operationalization of underlying preferences and prioritization within the couple. Results show that respondents expect that, for both men and women, the career of the partner with greater economic resources will be given career precedence, providing support for household bargaining theory. Domestic responsibilities moderate this effect differently for men and women; men who plan to be the primary caregiver are expected to be given career precedence regardless of resources, whereas women are not. By targeting early-career outcomes that are critical for students’ long-term career trajectories and may set the stage for future joint career decisions, this work has important implications for designing policy that promotes gender equality in medicine and other human-capital intensive and highly-mobile professions.

Women's Empowerment in the Labor Market: Why Is it Smart Economics?

Yana Rodgers
Rutgers University
Nidhiya Menon
Brandeis University


Women's Empowerment in the Labor Market: Why is it Smart Economics?
Alicia Giron
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Eileen Appelbaum
Center for Economic and Policy Research
JEL Classifications
  • J0 - General