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« LSE to Host Debate on What Type of Economics Should Be Taught? | Main | Broken Window Fallacy »


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Why do you think this has taken a bigger toll on men than women? Is it structural, i.e., relating to the loss of certain types of jobs for which men are more likely employed? May it be related to the discretion of employers? Of course, all employment decisions--except those backed by the threat of enforcement by some third party--are discretionary, but what I mean to ask is do you think there is evidence that employers are less likely to lay off women than men?

It's structural in the sense that it's about industries not discrimination etc.. Men are more likely to be in industries hit hard by the recession, esp. construction, but to a lesser extent white collar ones like finance and real estate. In general, men are disproportionately in industries more likely to be affected by the business cycle.

Steve, do you think this at least partly reflects greater willingness of men to take risks compared to women?

Nope, I think it reflects the fact that we've now had a long period of time with women being more likely to attend college than men, and women being disproportionately likely to be in service sector jobs that are less affected by cyclical changes. Women are more tightly clustered in jobs that require college and are services, both of which make them less cyclical. This is esp. true when the boom was in housing, where construction jobs are crucial and predominantly male, for a variety of reasons.

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