Gender Inequality: Sources and Solutions
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Henrik Kleven, Princeton University
Gender Norms and Gender Inequality
Public Policy and the Dynamics of Gender Inequality
AbstractRecent evidence from developed countries shows that gender inequality in labor market outcomes is largely driven by the unequal impacts of parenthood on women and men. This puts family policies such as parental leave and child care provision at the center stage of debates about gender inequality. Using administrative data from Austria and quasi-experimental research designs, we provide an integrated and dynamic treatment of the impact of children, parental leave, and child care provision on gender gaps. Using event studies around child birth, we start by documenting the large and persistent effects of parenthood on gender gaps, consistent with evidence from other countries. We then leverage quasi-experimental variation in parental leave schemes and in child care provision to understand how those policies affect the dynamics of gender gaps around child birth. We find that parental leave schemes increase gender inequality in the short run (as it subsidizes women to stay at home), but have no effect in the long run. In contrast, we find that child care provision reduces gender inequality in both the short and long run, and these effects are quite large. We do not find any evidence of cross-effects between these two policies: the long-run effect of parental leave is insignificant under both low and high child care provision. Taken together, our findings show that parental leave policy is not an important policy instrument for dealing with gender inequality in the labor market (but may have other merits), whereas public child care provision is an effective instrument.
- J1 - Demographic Economics
- H3 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents