Essays in labor economics
- The chapters in this dissertation study the micro causes and macro consequences of gender inequality in the labor market and the determinants of firm productivity and innovation. The first chapter analyzes the value workers ascribe to the gender composition of their workplace and the consequences of these valuations for occupational segregation, tipping, and welfare. To elicit these valuations, I survey 9,000 US adults using a hypothetical job choice experiment. This reveals that women value gender homophily in the workplace and men value gender diversity. Older female workers are more likely to value gender homophily, suggesting that gender norms and discrimination, which have declined over time, may help explain women's desire for homophily. Using these results, I estimate a structural model of occupation choice to assess their consequences for gender sorting and welfare. I find that workers' average composition valuations are not large enough to create tipping points, but they do reduce the female share in male-dominated occupations substantially. Gender composition valuations also create a sorting externality: a welfare- maximizing social planner would reallocate workers to substantially decrease segregation, improving consumption-equivalent welfare by about 2%. The second chapter, which is based on joint work with Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen, studies the relationship between management and firm dynamics. Using new Census data on management practices, we show a striking fact: better managed firms are significantly more active in plant acquisitions and disposals and openings and closings. We argue that better management practices allow firms to more cheaply change plant ownership, enabling them to engage in greater plant-level reallocation. Combining this with other Census and international management data showing better managed firms have higher productivity, have faster growth rates and birth better managed plants, we build a model of plant and firm management. We structurally estimate key parameters of the model and solve for the equilibrium. Using the model we develop three key results. First, mergers and acquisition activity increases management quality by almost 15%, second, greater competition improves management practices and productivity by over 10%, and finally, management practices account for about 30% of cross-country TFP differences. The third chapter studies the role of wage gaps caused by gender and unionization status in spurring labor-replacing technological innovation. It has been documented that innovation has been more prevalent in male-dominated than female-dominated professions, and that the prevalence of unionized jobs has declined at least in part due to automation. Using data on the universe of U.S. patents matched with occupational task content, I show that occupations with a higher male share and with a larger share of unionized workers have overlapped more with new patents in recent decades, even within groups of closely related occupations. I propose methods for establishing a causal link between gender composition and innovation, including using state-level variation in equal pay policies.
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Schuh, Rachel Julia
|Bloom, Nick, 1973-
|Bloom, Nick, 1973-
|Klenow, Peter J
|Degree committee member
|Klenow, Peter J
|Stanford University, School of Humanities and Sciences
|Stanford University, Department of Economics
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Department of Economics.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2023.
- © 2023 by Rachel Julia Schuh
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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