Work in Progress

The Spatial Origins of Gender Roles Draft Coming Soon!

This paper documents the short and long run effects of the spatial distribution of settlements on female labor force participation. I argue that dispersed settlements presented smaller mobility costs that encouraged female workforce participation. To tackle endogeneity, I rely on the Iberian Reconquest as an instrument for settlement patterns. Using 1887 Census data for Spain, I find that women were more prone to work in dispersed territories, in addition to present lower fertility rates and late marriage behavior. Today, these dispersed areas present also stronger female workforce attachment. They also present greater occupational status and smaller share of women devoted to domestic work. I document that individuals living in dispersed areas present more egalitarian gender views today. I also show that internal immigrant women originating from dispersed territories tend to participate more in the labor market and work longer hours. All in all, this evidence suggests that the cultural transmission of gender attitudes, originating in a short term event, helps to explain gender disparities in the labor market today.

Commuting Time and the Gender Gap in Labor Market Participation (with Jordi Jofre-Monseny and Lídia Farré, accepted in Journal of Economic Geography)

This paper investigates the contribution of increasing travel times to the persistent gender gap in labor market participation. In doing so, we estimate the labor supply elasticity of commuting time from a sample of men and women in US cities using microdata from the Census for the last decades.} To address endogeneity concerns, we adopt an instrumental variables approach that exploits the shape of cities as an exogenous source of variation for travel times. Our estimates indicate that a 10 minutes increase in commuting decreases the probability of married women to participate in the labor market by 4.6 percentage points. In contrast, the estimated effect on men is small and statistically insignificant. We also find that women with children and immigrant women originating from countries with more gendered social norms {respond the most to} commuting time variations. This evidence suggests that the higher burden of family responsibilities supported by women may magnify the negative effect of commuting on their labor supply. From our findings, we conclude that the increasing trend in travel times observed in the US and in many European countries during the last decades may have contributed to the persistence of gender disparities in labor market outcomes.


Gender Differences in Exam Performance under High Pressure: Evidence from MIR