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Essays in Applied Labour Economics

Benny, Liza (2021) Essays in Applied Labour Economics. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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This dissertation comprises three chapters in applied labour economics. The first chapter studies the extent to which occupation flexibility explains the evolution of the UK graduate gender wage gap. It documents that the share of graduate women working in flexible occupations increased both over the life cycle and over time, whereas men increased work in inflexible occupations at older ages. The wage penalty associated with flexibility increased over time and over the life cycle. The graduate gender wage gap is small at labour market entry and widens over the life cycle. Quantile decomposition analysis shows that sorting into flexible occupations explained between 15% to two-thirds of the life cycle increase in the gender wage gap. The reduction in the gap would have been up to 150% larger across cohorts if sorting into flexible occupations had not increased over time. The second chapter estimates an equilibrium model to investigate how changes in labour demand and supply explained patterns in flexibility and the gender wage gap. Higher relative demand for male labour at older ages, and in inflexible occupations, largely explained the life cycle increases in the gender wage gap, whereas women’s higher preferences for working in flexible occupations drove the increases in sorting into flexible occupations over time. The third chapter uses a difference-in-differences strategy to evaluate the effect of declines in child malaria mortality on fertility and female labour force participation in Tanzania. Exposure to the decline in child mortality led to increases in extensive margin fertility for women aged 15–25 in areas where malaria was not endemic, in line with reductions in malaria risk during first pregnancy, especially among adults with low levels of acquired immunity. Labour force participation fell for mothers aged 26–40, particularly those with children under five in the household.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Liza Benny
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2021 15:50
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2021 15:50

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