Gender inequality is greater in Japan than in other developed countries, and in response the country has implemented steps towards improving female employment. This column presents new evidence suggesting that foreign companies are an unexpected ally in promoting female labour market participation. Foreign direct investment has the potential to improve the allocation of talent and contribute to faster economic growth.
Yukiko Abe, Beata Javorcik, Naomi Kodama, 27 March 2016
Esther Ann Bøler, Beata Javorcik, Karen-Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 18 May 2015
The gender wage gap persists even in gender equal societies such as the Nordic countries. This column suggests that globalisation may play a role in that. The authors show that exporting firms have higher gender wage gaps although the effect is only present among college graduates. The heightened competition faced by exporters requires greater commitment and flexibility on the part of the workers, which leads to statistical gender discrimination.
Shelly Lundberg, Robert Pollak, 29 October 2013
Marriage patterns have changed in the last 50 years as fertility rates declined and cohabitation became more widespread. These trends can be explained by a shift in the gains from marriage away from specialisation and towards investment in children. This column argues that different patterns in childrearing are key to understanding class differences in marriage and parenthood. Heterogeneity in preferences for – or ability to invest in – child human capital explain marriage and fertility patterns across socioeconomic groups.
Sandra Black, Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 01 September 2007
Data on Germany suggest that important differences in the evolution of skill requirements at work by gender explain a substantial fraction of the closing of the gender wage gap. Policies promoting female employment should respond to these changing skill requirements.
Manuel Bagues, Berta Esteve-Volart, 27 July 2007
Many nations are imposing gender quotas on top-level jobs. Recent research suggests that such policies do not have a positive knock-on effect on gender balance in lower positions.
Stefania Albanesi, Claudia Olivetti, 20 July 2007
Medical advances in the early part of the twentieth century, especially those concerning child-bearing, increased the fraction of women’s lives that could be devoted to the labour market. They account for the threefold increase in the labour force participation of married women with children between 1920 and 1970 in the US.
Doris Weichselbaumer, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Martina Zweimüller, 16 July 2007
There has been much debate centred around gender wage differentials and discrimination and one of the key questions to emerge whether competitive markets can bring an end to the unequal market outcomes for men and women or if some form of anti-discrimination law is necessary.
Daniele Paserman, 26 June 2007
Female tennis players play more conservatively and commit more unforced errors when playing critical points. Does this explain the upper-echelons wage gap?
Juan Dolado, 12 June 2007
Gender equality policies seek to shift market outcomes. Economic logic and empirical research suggest that such policies can help if they are applied consistently for a long period.