Seminar by the sea
This year we were invited to present our research at the seminar series organized by our colleagues at Politechnika Gdansk (big thanks to Aleksandra Parteka for the invitation) And yes, the seminar was not actually by the sea, but rather online. Still I could imagine the air flowing from the Baltic sea.
In any case, we present our research on gender discrimination among labor market entrants. Using a large sample of countries spanning over almost four decades, we show that gender inequality among the youth is related to fertility timing. In particular, postponing fertility by a year leads to a 12% reduction in gender inequality (adjusted by personal characteristics). To identify the causal relationship, we introduce a new instrumental variable to the literature: the time since the pill was admitted in the country.
The effect is consistent with a simple story of statistical discrimination. A story where employers do not know (and cannot know) fertility intentions of their employees, but they anticipate that if it were to occur women will experience a higher productivity drop than men (on average). Within this context, postponing childbirth means a lower probability of childbearing, and consequently a fall in the (adjusted) gender wage gaps.