AØKA08237U Economics of Gender
In this course we explore gender differences in economic outcomes, in both households and the labor market. Economic outcomes differ substantially by gender. Why do we see these differences and do they represent a problem, which families, schools, firms or governments should do something about?
This course provides an overview over the large and growing recent literature in economics on topics related to gender, work and the family. The course covers topics such as female and male labor force participation, the gender wage gap, marriage and divorce, fertility, domestic violence, women’s empowerment within the household and societies. We study the role of different factors shaping gender inequality (such as human captial differences, occupational segregation, discrimination and gender norms) and discuss the role of policies (such as quotas, leave policies, access to abortion). We finally factor in insights from other fields by considering gender differences in pychological attributes (studying aspects like the role of competitiveness or attitudes towards negotiation).
The course is based on the study of empirical research papers, and we critically assess and discuss the research methods applied in these studies. Thus a central aim is to gain insight into what makes a good empirical study. Research findings, underlying economic models, and our analysis of empirical trends will all enter an evaluation of policy issues. The course will thus also help prepare students for conducting independent empirical research themselves and and help them finding interesting thesis topics.
After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Account for key economic concepts within the economics of gender
- Define economic frameworks related to gender, their assumptions and predictions.
- Discuss the covered content in relevant new contexts to address new topics and policy issues related to gender.
- Critically assess topics in the economics of gender based on empirical studies.
- Interpret and extract information from relevant scientific economics papers related to gender, identify their contributions and limitations.
- Select the frameworks and pieces of empirical evidence, which are relevant for policy questions and debates related to gender.
- Organize evidence to form an argument around a given issue within the economics of gender.
- Synthesize empirical evidence from multiple sources, research articles and aggregate data, and present them in written and oral form at different levels of detail.
- Evaluate the real-life relevance of possible economic explanations within economics of gender, to be able to assess which explanation or hypothetical outcome is more or less likely.
- Assess contradicting findings of studied papers and present their trade-offs.
- Read selected articles related to the economics of gender, exctract appropriate conclusions and assess whether the presented empirical evidence convincingly identifies causal relationships.
- Connect, combine and adapt general ideas and concepts to specific policy problems related to gender
- Develop research designs in economic applications in complex, unpredictable situations.
- Initiate and manage discussions related to the economics of gender and address topics and policy issues
Book: Blau, Francine D. and Anne E. Winkler (2017): The economics of women, men, and work. Eighth edition, Oxford University Press, 2018.
Series of academic articles listed in the course-reading list. Examples for articles from the course reading:
- Bertrand, M., E. Kamenica, and J. Pan. (2015). Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households. Quarterly Journal of Economics 130(2): 571–614.
- Exley, C, M Niederle, and L Vesterlund. Knowing when to ask: The cost of leaning-in. JPE, forthcoming.
- Hengel, E. (2017), Publishing while female: Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review. Working paper
- Beaman, L, E Duflo, R Pande, and P Topalova (2012). Female Leadership Raises Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Girls: A Policy Experiment in India. Science Magazine, February.
- Goldin, C., C. Rouse. 2000. Orchestrating impartiality: The impact of “blind” auditions on female musicians. American Economic Review 90(4) 715–741.
- Stevenson, B., & Wolfers, J. (2007). Marriage and divorce: Changes and their driving forces. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(2), 27-52.
- Folke, O., and J. Rickne (2020). All the single ladies: Job promotions and the durability of marriage. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 12.1: 260-87.
- Myers, C. (2017) The power of abortion policy: Re-examining the effects of young women’s access to reproductive control. Journal of Political Economy 125.6: 2178-2224.
In the lectures, the teacher presents the broader topic and the assigned papers’ placement in the literature. The lecture will be followed by discussions and presentations.
It is expected that the students throughout the course prepare for the course, participate activly in lectures and activities, work in groups, complete assignments and gives peer feedback.
Office hours: Monday mornings 8:30-9:30
2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).
Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Timetable"/"Se skema" at the right side of this page (E means Autumn).
You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E20; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn – Week 31-5”
Press: “ View Timetable”
During the course students will receive peer feedback on their assignments.
The lecturer gives collective oral feedback on the students activities in class.
For foreign students not enrolled: Admission requirements, registration etc: Study Economics.
For gæste- og enkelfagsstuderende: Tilmelding via Uddannelse i Økonomi.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignment, 12 hoursindividual take-home exam.
The students are not allowed to communicate about the exam questions.
The exam assignment is given in English and must be answered in English.
- Exam registration requirements
To qualify for the exam the student must no later than the given deadlines during the course:
- Hand in and have approved a minimum of 4 out of 5 mandatory reading questions.
- All aids allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
for the written exam. The exam may be chosen for external censorship by random check.
- Exam period
The exam takes place:
18 January 2021 from 10 AM to 10 PM
In special cases, the exam date can be changed to another day and time within the exam period.
The written reexam takes place:
20 February 2021 from 10 AM to 10 PM
NOTE: If only few students register for the written re-exam, the re-exam might change to a 20 minutes oral examination with 20 minutes preparation time. No aids are allowed during the preparation. It is allowed to bring the notes written during preparation at the examination.
If changed to an oral re-exam, the date, time and place might change as well. The Examination's Office informs the students by KU e-mail.
Info is available in Digital Exam early February.
Criteria for exam assesment
Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.
To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.