Friday, December 23, 2011

This just in - Women not perfect

Minnesota State Senate Majority Leader Amy KOCH steps down due to "inappropriate relationship".

Also I saw these economics studies that refere to gender from US NBER. I only mention them in passing to show the degree of "scholarship" in the discipline these days.
"Does Gender Matter for Political Leadership? The Case of U.S. Mayors"
NBER Working Paper No. w17671
What are the consequences of electing a female leader for policy and political outcomes? Where women’s participation in mayoral elections increased from negligible numbers in 1970 to about one-third of the elections in the 2000’s. Using a data set of U.S. mayoral elections from 1950 to 2005, and apply a regression discontinuity design to deal with the endogeneity of female candidacy to city characteristics.
  • They find no gender effect of the female mayors on policy outcomes related to the size of local government, the composition of municipal spending and employment, or crime rates.
  • While female mayors do not implement different policies, they do appear to have higher unobserved political skills, as they have a 6-7 percentage point higher incumbent effect than a comparable male.
  • Also, there is no evidence of political spillover effects (i.e exogenously electing a female mayor does not change the long run political success of other female mayoral candidates in the same city or of female candidates in local congressional elections.)
"The Economics and Politics of Women's Rights"
NBER Working Paper No. w17672
Women's rights and economic development are highly correlated. Today, the discrepancy between the legal rights of women and men is much larger in developing compared to developed countries. Historically, even in countries that are now rich, women had few rights before economic development took off.  So is development the cause of expanding women's rights, or conversely, do women's rights facilitate development? We argue that there is truth to both hypotheses. The literature on the economic consequences of women's rights documents that more rights for women lead to more spending on health and children, which should benefit development.
The political-economy literature on the evolution of women's rights finds that technological change increased the costs of patriarchy for men, and thus contributed to expanding women's rights. Combining these perspectives, we discuss the theory of Doepke and Tertilt (2009), where an increase in the return to human capital induces men to vote for women's rights, which in turn promotes growth in human capital and income per capita.
[Ladies - you are welcome but don't feel you need to say thank-you.  Also, the technological change that increased our costs was because with the oven/washing machines we invented, you aren't spending so much time schlepping down to the river to clean dishes and wash clothes by flogging on rocks.  Then we and our children get the pleasure of your company.]
Utilization of Infertility Treatments: The Effects of Insurance Mandates"NBER Working Paper No. w17668
Over the last several decades, both delay of childbearing and fertility problems have become increasingly common among women in developed countries. At the same time, technological changes have made many more options available to individuals experiencing fertility problems. However, these technologies are expensive, and only 25% of health insurance plans in the United States cover infertility treatment. As a result of these high costs, legislation has been passed in 15 states that mandates insurance coverage of infertility treatment in private insurance plans.
This paper examines if mandated insurance coverage for infertility treatment affects utilization.  Adjusting for fact that older, more educated women should be more affected than younger, less educated women  due to higher risk of fertility problems and because as they are more likely to have private health insurance - they find insurance mandates increase utilization for older, more educated women, especially use of expensive ovulation-inducing drugs and artificial insemination procedures. [Duh]

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