Tag Archives: female labour supply

No gender gap in self-employment in New Zealand

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Changing labour supply composition and the supply of work-life balance by employers

The growing number of women in the workforce and the domination of women of the graduate labour supply will increase the incentive of employers to make the workplace more family-friendly. Those that do not will lose access to the majority of graduate and other talent.

Various work place amenities can be traded-off in salary packages. In industries and occupations where this is cheap to do, the wage offset will be least. These industries and occupations will attract a large number of women because the net returns to them in cash wages plus amenities is higher than for men who value the greater work life balance less.

share-of-labor-force-with-part-time-jobs-women-men_chartbuilder

Occupational segregation around the clock illustrates the delicate trade-off between cash wages and the costs of flexible hours. Men and women work in much the same occupations between 8 and 6. There are big gaps if you are an early starter or work over dinner time.

Changing the production processes of these industries to induce more women to work unsocial hours would require large reduction in production and pay. Fewer women will not enter occupations with more unsocial hours unless they are paid more than in other jobs where it is cheaper to provide work-life balance and still pay higher cash wages.

Occupations and industries where family friendliness is more costly will be male dominated because women qualified enough to enter these occupations will go elsewhere where the cash wages sacrifice is less for work-life balance. Influxes of women will occur in industries where technological trends lower the cost of work-life amenities and the growing number of female skilled workers forces employers’ hands. They must adapt or lose out in competition for talent. The large influx of women into male dominated higher skilled occupations and professions suggests that some occupations can provide work-life balance at a lower cost than others.

The traditional drivers of occupational segregation

The main drivers of female occupational choice are supply-side (Chiswick 2006, 2007). This self-selection of females into occupations with more durable human capital, and into more general educations and more mobile training that allows women to change jobs more often and move in and out of the workforce at less cost to earning power and skills sets.

Chiswick (2006) and Becker (1985, 1993) then suggest that these supply side choices about education and careers are made against a background of a gendered division of labour and effort in the home, and in particular, in housework and the raising of children. These choices in turn reflect how individual preferences and social roles are formed and evolve in society.

gender pay gap in the OECD

These adaptations of women to the operation of the labour market, in turn, reflect a gendered division of labour and household effort in raising families and the accidents of birth as to who has these roles (Chiswick 2006, 2007; Becker 1981, 1985, 1993).

The market is operating fairly well in terms of rewarding what skills and talents people bring to it in light of a gendered division of labour and household effort and the accidents of birth. The issue is one of distributive justice about how these skills and family commitments are allocated and should be allocated outside the market between men and women when raising children. As in related areas such as racial and ethnic wage and employment gaps, these gaps are driven by differences in the skills and talents that people acquired prior to entering the labour market. …

The changing nature and scale of the gender gap

Developments in recent decades greatly increased the options for women to combine careers and family. The unadjusted gender wage gap is narrow while the gender education gap has reversed. The progress with closing the gender gaps in employment and education in recent decades makes the crafting of further gender-based policy interventions more challenging.

The remaining gender gaps reflect much more thorny issues such as work-life balance rather than mid and late 20th century concerns such as large gender differences in education participation and attainment, sex discrimination and full-time motherhood raising much larger families.

gender wage gap and birth of first child

Parental leave, early childhood education and child care subsidies have increased in New Zealand in recent years. Early childhood education spending is high in New Zealand by international standards but spending on child care subsidies is less generous (OECD 2012).

The main drivers of greater female labour force participation and greater investment in long-duration professional educations were access to reliable contraception, the rise of service sector and other jobs that depend on brains instead of brawn, the automation of housework with white goods, and rising incomes increasing the opportunity cost of having a large number of children.

This is a first in a series of blogs on occupational segregation and gender.

Women and WW II – Rosie the Riveter

% women age 25 to 54 working full-time in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark

To account for full-time work being 35 hours per week in some countries but 40 hours others I have included both in the chart below. Not many Dutch women work full-time.

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Data extracted on 11 Mar 2016 14:08 UTC (GMT) from OECD.Stat.

Vanishing effect of #religion on the labour market participation of European women

Average effective retirement ages by gender in the USA, UK, Germany and France, 1970 – 2012

Figure 1 shows a divergence from a common starting point in 1974 effective retirement ages. The French in particular were the first to put their feet up and start retiring by the age of 60 by the early 1990. There was also a sharp increase in the average effective retirement age for men in the UK over a short decade. After that, British retirement ages for men started to climb again in the late 1990s. Figure 1 also shows that the gentle taper in the effective retirement age for American men stopped at the 1980s and started to climb again in the 2000s. The German data is too short to be of much use because of German unification. France only recently stopped seeing its effective retirement age fall and it is slightly increased recently – see figure 1

Figure 1: average effective retirement age for men, USA, UK, France and Germany, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 2 shows similar results for British and American women as for men in the same country shown in figure 1 . That is, falling effective retirement ages for both British and American women in the 1970s and 1980s followed by a slow climb again towards the end of 1990s. French  effective retirement ages for women followed the same pattern as for French retirement ages for men – a long fall  to below the age of 60 with a slight increase recently. The German retirement data suggest that effective retirement ages for German women is increasing.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age for women, USA, UK, France and Germany 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Average effective retirement ages by gender, Australia and New Zealand, 1970 – 2012

Figures 1 and 2 shows a sharp increase in the average effective retirement age for men and women in both Australia and New Zealand between 1970 and 1990. After that, retirement ages for men in both countries stabilised for about a decade. effective retirement age than Australia.

Figure 1: average effective retirement age for men, Australia and New Zealand, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Interestingly, in the 1970s and 1980s, New Zealand had an old-age pension scheme, known as New Zealand Superannuation, whose eligibility age was lowered from 65 to 60 in one shot in 1975. This old-age pension in New Zealand had no income test or assets test, but there was for a time a small surcharge on any income of pensioners. Nonetheless, New Zealand had a higher effective retirement age than in Australia where the old-age pension eligibility age is 65 with strict income and assets tests.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age for women, Australia and New Zealand, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 1 and figure 2 also shows that the sharp increase in effective retirement ages in New Zealand for both men and women after the eligibility age for New Zealand’s old-age pension was increased from 60 to 65 over 10 years.

Figures 1 and 2 also show the gradual increase in effective retirement ages for Australian men and women from the end of the 1990s.

Average effective retirement ages by gender, USA and UK, 1970 – 2012

Figure 1 shows a divergence in the 1970s where there is a sharp increase in the average effective retirement age for men in the UK over a short decade. After that, British retirement ages for men started to climb again in the late 1990s. Figure 1 also shows that the gentle taper in the effective retirement age for American men stopped at the 1980s and started to climb again in the 2000s.

Figure 1: average effective retirement age for men, USA and UK, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 2 shows similar results to figure 1 for British and American women. That is, falling effective retirement ages  for both British and American women in the 1970s and 1980s followed by a slow climb again during the 1990s.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age for women, USA and UK, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.