Panel Paper: Gender Gaps in Time Use and Labor Market Outcomes: What’s Norms Got to Do with It?

Thursday, November 8, 2018
8216 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Nan Maxwell, Mathematica Policy Research and Nathan Wozny, U.S. Air Force Academy

Although researchers have suggested that norms might influence gender gaps in labor market outcomes, no study has attempted to quantify how much they contribute. This research takes a first step toward quantifying the influence of norms. It uses data from the American Community Survey and American Time Use Survey to estimate of the influence of norms on gender differences in time use and labor market outcomes using four groups of demographically matched individuals with relatively homogeneous within-group need for production. Results suggest that norms might explain a majority of the gap in work, household production, and earnings, and over 40 percent of the gap in employment. Although estimates are not precise, they do suggest that norms might be a fruitful avenue for future research and provide a lens by which to consider policies designed to reduce the gender gaps in time use and in labor market outcomes.