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Selected Topics in Gender, Macroeconomics, Technological Change and Mobility

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM (CST)

J.W. Marriott New Orleans, Rosalie/St. Claude
Hosted By: Association for Evolutionary Economics & International Association for Feminist Economics
  • Chair: Alexandra Bernasek, Colorado State University

Monetary Policy Distributional Inequality: Analysis of Income, Unemployment, and Consumption by Gender and Race

Aina Puig
American University


This paper studies the distributional effects of monetary policy shocks on U.S. demographic groups, disaggregated by gender and race. The analysis traces two channels through which contractionary shocks affect consumption patterns. One is the income composition channel, which distinguishes between household primary sources of income (labor earnings, business or financial income, or transfers). Various types of income will be affected differently by shocks, and thus the composition of sources influences total disposable income. The second channel is the earnings heterogeneity channel, which encompasses unequal unemployment rates and wage rigidities. Demographic groups with higher unemployment rates and wage rigidities keeping them at lower incomes will have very different consumption patterns than employed and richer workers. Care and unpaid work contributions are considered, especially the large burden on women of color. This analysis contributes to the existing literature by studying both the gender and racial effects of unexpected interest rate shocks and using relatively newer econometric methods. Using the latest methods will allow to test whether earlier results are consistent with newer models, as the literature using these newer methods focuses on income inequality and fails to mention gender and race. Preliminary findings suggest that contractionary monetary policy shocks have large distributional effects, with the largest negative income and unemployment impacts on Blacks and women. This paper contributes needed insight into the distribution of the transmission of monetary policy, supporting that those effects are neither gender nor race neutral. It also provides evidence of gendered and racial consumption heterogeneity, the unequal impacts of interest rate shocks, and the disproportionate burden placed on marginalized groups.

The Intra-Household Allocation of Administrative Burdens

Lucie Martin
University College Dublin


Administrative tasks such as choosing health insurance, applying for government benefits, or switching utility providers create costs which impact the reach and targeting of policies. These costs have been studied as administrative burdens, and as “sludge” (frictions) in behavioural economics. Yet there is little quantitative research on who in the household experiences these costs, and what these experiences look like, despite evidence that administrative tasks may be gendered, and despite the importance of experiences for policy evaluation. This study uses original survey data from 1,176 UK adults in cohabiting relationships to measure the intrahousehold allocation of administrative tasks, focusing on time-use, emotional affect, and self-reported responsibility across ten domains: tax, retirement, government benefits, bills, goods and services, savings, debt, health, childcare, and caring for adults. The results show a clear gender allocation of time-use and responsibility. Administrative tasks relating to health, goods and services, children, and to a lesser extent caring for adults and government benefits are female-typed. Retirement and savings, and to a lesser extent taxes, bills, and debt, are male-typed. Gender differences in responsibility are more pronounced, possibly because it measures tasks done during a multi-tasking “parallel shift” better than time-use. Women report lower emotional affect than men in all domains except childcare; this gap is highest for tax and retirement. Exploratory analysis suggests bargaining power does not fully explain task allocation, and gendered time pressure due to multi-tasking may help explain women’s lower affect. Overall, the study shows that an often-hidden type of unpaid work, administrative tasks, is a source of intrahousehold inequality, with implications for gendered time-use and well-being. This suggests that policies that create administrative burdens are not gender-neutral. Their allocation differentially impacts experiences and potentially household decision-making. Hence policy evaluations should consider administrative experiences, and interventions addressing administrative burdens offer opportunities to reduce inequality.

Moving Along: Exploring Gender Differences in Access to Spatial Mobility in Early Adulthood

Ramya Vijaya
Stockton University
Naureen Bhullar
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore


Using an original survey data from a cohort of both urban and rural college students from the Northern Indian metropolitan district of Jalandhar, this study looks at spatial mobility and the gendered transitions in spatial access and mobility through early adulthood and inter-generationally. There is increasing recognition that mobility constraints characterizing urbanization in developing economies, with limited public transport infrastructure and high levels of class segregation within urban areas and between expanding metropolitan areas and the adjoining rural pockets, can have a crucial impact on accessing a range of economic opportunities. Ease of movement is influential influence on choices related to education, labor force participation and employment options. In this paper we extend this discussion by adding a crucial gender lens. Spatial mobility is particularly gendered in the South Asian context given norms about women’s agency in accessing spaces outside the home and concerns about safety. Using this unique dataset, which includes spatial coordinates of respondents, we explore the gender differences in access and ease of mobility that emerges in early adulthood, in the transition from schooling to higher college level education. We examine the implications of this difference on choices about higher education and future careers. We further investigate the impact of caste and class positions on the gendered differences in access and mobility and crucially, the intergenerational impact of maternal agency and access with regards to mobility.

Female Enrolment in Higher Education in India: Does Hostel Accommodation Play a Role?

Satyaki Dasgupta
Colorado State University
Annesha Mukherjee
Centre for Development Studies-Kerala


The All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) report of 2019-20 notes that female gross enrolment ratio (GER) is 49 percent. Scholars have also noted a declining gender gap in higher education enrolment over time in India. We argue that the institutional provision of hostel accommodations has played a crucial role in encouraging female enrolment in higher education beyond school. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to address the importance of the institution of hostels in the scholarship of higher education in India.
In a patriarchal society like India where restricting women’s mobility is commonplace, hostel provision can incentivise parents to allow their daughters continue their education. Further, poverty often acts as an impediment to the continuation of female education, given resource constraints and male-biassed social norms. The lack of financial and social capital is intensified for the deprived Scheduled Castes (SCs) and minority religions, who have lesser access to such resources on average. These issues can be dealt with if educational institutions provide hostels to enrolled students. This not only relieves parents of exorbitant expenditures to be undertaken for education, but also addresses their concern for safety when female students reside elsewhere to attain higher educational qualifications.
We find that hostel provision has a positive and significant impact on female GER. Additionally, this relationship appears to be stronger when the dependent variable is GER of female SC students. Our preliminary results underscore the crucial role played by institutions through hostel provisions in encouraging the enrolment of females, especially SC females, in higher education in India.

Robots and Women in Manufacturing Employment

Izaskun Zuazu
Institute for Socio-Economics and University of Duisburg-Essen


Automation transforms the combination of tasks performed by machines and humans, and reshapes existing labour markets by replacing jobs and creating new ones. These transformations are likely to differ by gender as women and men concentrate in different tasks and jobs. This paper argues that a gender-biased technological change framework will advance our understanding of the differentiated role of robots in labour market outcomes of women and men. The paper empirically analyses the impact of industrial robots in gender segregation and employment levels of women and men using an industry-level disaggregated panel dataset of 11 industries in 14 countries during 1993-2015. Within fixed-effects and instrumental variables estimates suggest that robotization increases the share of women in manufacturing employment. However, this impact hinges upon female labour force participation. As female labour participation rate increases, robots are associated with a negative effect of robotization in women in manufacturing employment. The estimates show that robotization reduces both women and men employment, although the effect for women is larger. The results are robust to various sensitivity checks, partitions of the database, estimating techniques and alternative measures of gender segregation in manufacturing employment.
JEL Classifications
  • J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor
  • D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics