Janet Currie, 15 January 2016

Studies of the effects of economic fluctuations on health have come to wildly different conclusions. This may be because the effects are different for different groups. Using US data, this column looks at the health consequences of the Great Recession on mothers, a sub-population that has thus far been largely neglected in the literature. Increases in unemployment are found to have large negative health effects and to increase incidences of smoking and substance abuse among mothers. These effects appear to be concentrated on disadvantaged groups such as minorities, and point to short- and long-term consequences for their children.

Stefania Albanesi, Claudia Olivetti, María José Prados, 21 December 2015

The gender gap in the workplace persists, affecting women in professional and managerial occupations the most. This column looks at the gender gap among top executives at Standard & Poor’s firms and suggests that performance-related pay schemes should be better scrutinised. Increasing transparency of an executive’s compensation relative to others in similar positions might go some way towards mitigating gender pay inequality for top executives.

Moshe Hazan, Hosny Zoabi, 11 December 2015

Economists are increasingly interested in measuring the relationship between women’s work and education and the number of children they have – in part as a response to public policies that aim to empower women. This column assesses the evidence and finds that whereas in the 1990s highly educated women had fewer children than women with a lower education in the US, it is no longer true today.

Donato Masciandaro, Paola Profeta, Davide Romelli, 26 November 2015

Not much is known about the drivers of gender diversity in monetary policy committees. This column presents new research suggesting that gender preferences may be endogenous with respect to the overall structural and institutional settings. Higher female representation is associated with higher levels of central bank independence and lower involvement of the central bank in both banking and financial sector supervision. 

Siwan Anderson, Debraj Ray, 10 October 2015

The developing world has notoriously low female-to-male sex ratios, a phenomenon that has been described as ‘missing women’. It is argued that this is driven by parental preferences for sons, sex-selective abortion, and different levels of care during infancy. This column shows that these higher rates of female mortality continue into adulthood. It argues that being unmarried, especially through widowhood, can have substantial effects on relative rates of female mortality in the developing world.

Other Recent Articles: