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Journal Articles Economica Year : 2021

Gender Identity and Quality of Employment


Studies for high-income countries have shown that the prescription that a man should earn more than his wife holds back women's performance in the labour market, evidencing the importance of gender identity norms in explaining persistent gender gaps. Using data on couples in Uruguay for the period 1986–2016, this paper analyses behavioural responses to the male breadwinner norm, investigating the role of job informality as an additional mechanism of response to gender norms. My results show that the higher the probability that the wife earns more than her husband, the less likely she is to engage in a formal job, providing evidence that gender norms affect not only the quantity of labour supply (i.e. labour force participation and hours of work), but also the quality of jobs in which women are employed. Moreover, I also identify meaningful effects of the norm on men: those with lower potential earnings than their wives react to the norm by self-selecting into better-paid formal jobs. Not considering these effects would lead to underestimating the consequences of gender norms on labour market inequalities in the context of developing countries.
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Dates and versions

hal-03463091 , version 1 (02-12-2021)



Estefanía Galván. Gender Identity and Quality of Employment. Economica, In press, ⟨10.1111/ecca.12401⟩. ⟨hal-03463091⟩


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