Research Highlights

Female economists are invited to write short non-technical summaries of some of their recent work. These are published below.

New Frontiers: The Origins and Content of New Work, 1940—2018

Non technical summary written by Anna Salomons (University of Utrecht)

In “New frontiers: The origins and content of new work, 1940-2018” the authors answer 3 core questions about the role of newly emerging job categories (`new work’) in counterbalancing the erosive effect of task-displacing automation on labor demand. First, what is the substantive content of new work, and how has this changed over 1940—2018? Second, where does new work come from? And third, what effect does new work emergence have on labor demand?

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Correcting public misperceptions about medical doctors' opinions persistently increases Covid-19 vaccinations

Non technical summary written by Julie Chytilová, Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Charles University, Prague 

Identifying sources of vaccine hesitancy and ways how to reduce it has been one of the central public policy challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. We show that public misperceptions about doctors' views on Covid-19 vaccinations reduce willingness to get vaccinated. Specifically, we document three observations: (1) The vast majority of medical doctors in the Czech Republic trust and support vaccination. (2) There is a widespread belief among the public that doctors’ opinions are divided and that only about half trust the vaccines. (3) Informing people that there is a broad positive consensus among doctors persistently increases vaccination uptake by the public. Thus, effectively communicating doctors‘ true views can play an important role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Why does capital flow from equal to unequal countries?

Non technical summary written by Federica Romei (University of Oxford)

Why does capital flow from equal to unequal countries? This question is at the heart of my research with Sergio de Ferra and Kurt Mitman. First, we document a new empirical fact: among advanced economies, unequal countries like the UK and the USA tend to accumulate fewer assets in the rest of the world than more equal countries do, such as those in Scandinavia. Second, we present a theory for why this happens: more unequal countries develop deeper financial markets. Therefore, households living in unequal countries can borrow more than households in equal countries. But let's explain everything in detail. 

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Flexible Wages, Bargaining, and The Gender Gap

Non-technical summary written by Barbara Biasi

Women are often believed to be reluctant to negotiate for higher pay. This could give a workplace advantage to men and exacerbate gender pay gaps. Evidence from lab experiments generally supports this hypothesis, showing that women avoid situations in which they have to negotiate or bargain. As individually based compensation becomes more prevalent even in traditionally unionized sectors, due to the passage of right-to-work laws, understanding whether flexible pay penalizes women is key to understanding the sources of the gender wage gap.

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Inter-Group Contact, Racial Stereotypes and Academic Performance

Non technical summary written by: Lucia Corno (Cattolica University Milan)

Contemporary societies have become increasingly diverse, and prejudice and stereotypes towards certain groups are at the forefront of public debate. Stereotypes may induce distortions in economic and social behavior, generating adverse consequences for groups subject to negative stereotypes, including unequal access to economic, social and political opportunities.

Can increased interaction between groups reduce stereotypes about out-group members?  

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Maternal Labor Supply: Perceived Returns, Constraints, and Social Norms

Non technical summary written by: Teodora Boneva (University of Bonn)

Mothers with young children face the decision of working full-time, part-time, or not at all. They decide very differently: in Germany, for example, approximately 36% of mothers worked full-time, 37% worked part-time, and 27% did not work at all in 2019 (OECD Family Database). Various determinants of female labor supply have been examined in the literature, including family policies, cultural norms, the availability of childcare, and part-time employment opportunities. A factor that has received little attention so far is the perceived return to maternal labor supply: How do people perceive the benefits and costs to mothers working, and how are those beliefs related to maternal labor supply decisions? 

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Caught between Cultures? Unintended Consequences of Improving Opportunity for Immigrant Girls

Christina Felfe de Ormeno (University of Würzburg)

What happens when immigrant girls are given increased opportunities to integrate into the workplace and society, but their parents value more traditional cultural outcomes?

This paper constructs an identity model which shows how expanding opportunities for immigrant girls can have the unintended consequence of reducing their well-being, since identity-concerned parents will constrain their daughter's choices.

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The Long-Term Effects of Covid-19 School Closures

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis in the spring of 2020, politicians worldwide closed schools and child-care centers in an effort to contain the virus. According to the World Bank, around 1.6 billion school children were affected by these closures at their peak (World Bank 2020). Education is a crucial determinant of future wages, and schools are an important driver of intergenerational mobility (Kotera and Seshadri, 2017; Lee and Seshadri, 2019). We thus ask the question: what are the long-run economic impacts of Covid-related school closures on the affected children?

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This Time It's Different: The Role of Women's Employment in a Pandemic Recession

Michèle Tertilt (University of Mannheim)

Before Covid-19, the most recent economic recessions in the United States have been “mancessions,” meaning that employment losses were larger for men than women. This time, it is women, rather than men, who have experienced larger employment losses and higher unemployment. 

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Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?

Patricia Funk (Università della Svizzera Italiana) and Nagore Iriberri (University of the Basque Country)

Women are under-represented in Economics, and more so the higher the rank. While numerous explanations have been offered for this gap, an abiding concern is that stereotype biases or other forms of discrimination lead decision makers to undervalue the contributions of women. Producing high quality research and publishing in high impact journals is the most important task for an academic to be promoted, summarized as the publish or perish paradigm. We address the question: Are referees and editors in economics gender neutral? 

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Does Gender Matter to Be Accepted into Economics Conferences?

Laura Hospido (Bank of Spain)

In a recent paper, Gender Gaps in the Evaluation of Research: Evidence from Submissions to Economics Conferences, we study gender differences in the evaluation of submissions to economics conferences. The economics profession includes disproportionately few women, relative both to the overall population and to other disciplines (Bayer and Rouse 2016). Although economics became less male-dominated over time, the share of women in the profession is currently lower than in STEM fields, and it has remained flat since the mid-2000s (Lundberg and Stearns 2019). Motivated by this fact, we study gender differences in the evaluation of submissions to economics conferences.

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Universal Basic Income: A Dynamic Assessment

Co-Author: Raquel Fernández (New York University)

Universal basic income (UBI) — a set income that is given to all without any conditions — is making an important comeback in policy discussions in many countries. This is most likely the result of anxieties about automation and robotization, the depth of the last recession both in the US and in Europe, the stagnation of median wages over several decades in an era of rising inequality and, more recently, the large-scale increase in unemployment in response to the current epidemic. 

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The Formation and Malleability of Dietary Habits: A Field Experiment with Low Income Families

Author: Michèle Belot (Cornell University)

In a recent working paper, The Formation and Malleability of Dietary Habits: A Field Experiment with Low Income Families, we evaluate two interventions aimed at encouraging healthier eating among young children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

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