Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series
Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies with Kelly Bedard

Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies with Kelly Bedard

November 30, 2017

Having children may reduce the probability that women are promoted in a variety of professions because early productivity falls despite the existence of short family leave programs. But the problem may be particularly acute at research intensive universities where research productivity before the tenure decision is especially important. In repsonse, many of the institutions have adopted gender-neutral tenure clock-stopping policies so women-and men-do not have to sacrifice family for career, and vice-versa. The extra time on the tenure clock is inteneded to account for the negative productivity shock associated with having a child. While these policies are equal in the sense that they give the same benfit to women and men who have children, they are inequitable in that the time cost (or productivity loss) experienced by men and women is quite different. Using data from top 50 economic departments from 1980-2005, Kelly Bedard shows that these policies raise male tenure rates while at the same time reducing female tenure rates. 

 

Kelly Bedard, Department Chair and Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara

Betting the House: How Assets Influence Marriage Selection, Marriage Stability, and Child Investments with Corinne Low

Betting the House: How Assets Influence Marriage Selection, Marriage Stability, and Child Investments with Corinne Low

November 16, 2017

In the past 50 years, marital rates have declined significantly, especially among lower socioeconomic groups. Meanwhile increase in the ease of divorce and improvements in contracting outside of marriage (e.g.,child support laws) have made marriage increasingly similar to cohabitation, except for in the treatment of assets upon divorce. Corinne Low, together with coauthor Jeanne Lafortune, present a case that as the commitment offered by marriage declined, this division of assets offered extra "insurance" to women in high asset unions. This in turn encouraged investment in child human capital, even at the cost of one's own earnings, and allowed marriage to retain its value amongst asset holders particularly homeowners. Meanwhile, the value of marriage eroded for other groups, creating a wealth gap in marriage rates that may underly the apparent income, race, and education gap. 

 

Corinne Low, Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Poliy, The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania.

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