Jordy Meekes, Melbourne Institute - Gender differences in the labour and spatial response to job displacement

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Title: Gender differences in the labour and spatial response to job displacement

Abstract: Using Dutch administrative monthly data, we investigate the gender difference in how workers cope with job loss focusing on job search and the financial incentive to work. We use a quasi-experimental empirical design involving job displacement due to firm bankruptcy, which limits endogenous selection into unemployment. After matching on coarsened observables, we compare the labour market outcomes of displaced workers to observationally equivalent non-displaced workers over a period of 24 months prior to 36 months after job loss. We examine the displacement effects on four labour market outcomes: employment, working hours, hourly wages and commuting distance. We show that compared to displaced men, displaced women experience a 7 percentage points larger loss in employment but a 10 percentage points smaller increase in commuting. We do not find a difference in the displacement effects on working hours and hourly wages. Concentrating on women and men who were in a displaced full-time job, we show that women experience larger losses in employment and working hours, similar losses in hourly wages and smaller increases in commute. The results on gender differences in displacement effects hold for both single and married workers, but are more pronounced for married women. Our findings suggest that after job loss, in particular married women's weak financial incentive to become employed and strong preference for working close to home leads to a compensating differential, resulting in lower re-employment but not in lower wages.

Presenter: Jordy Meekes, Melbourne Institute

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