Speaker: Andrea Ichino , European University Institute
Title: Economic incentives and gender identity
Abstract: Gender identity norms have attracted increasing attention as possible drivers of persistent gender gaps, although the extent to which they effectively restrict the behavior of couples is still debated. The baseline allocation of home production between spouses may not be fully informative of gender norms, as it typically results from the combination of both couples’ preferences/norms and economic incentives. A direct test for the role of gender norms requires to measure how the time allocation of spouses is affected when the relative wage changes. We argue that the elasticity of substitution between spousal inputs in home production is related to the strength of gender norms governing gender roles, and asymmetric reactions to relative wage shocks reveal which type of norm (Traditional or Untraditional) would be binding. By combining administrative information on home production in Sweden with the introduction in 2007 of a EITC that altered the relative wages of spouses, we find suggestive evidence of the relevance of both Traditional and Untraditional norms in different groups of the Swedish population.