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In-Work Poverty in Europe. Trends and determinants in longitudinal perspective

Speaker: Stefani Scherer University of Trento
Employment remains among the most important factors to protect individuals and their families from economic poverty. However, recent years have witnessed an alarming increase of in-work poverty (IWP), thus of being poor notwithstanding employment.
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Do European Cohabiters Work and Earn like Married or like Single Individuals?

Speaker: Alicia Adsera, Princeton School of Public and Social Affairs

Married men earn more than single men do, while married women work less than single women do. Whether the differences arise from selection (those with more potential earnings are more likely to marry) or from specialization (within marriage, men specialize in labor market skills) has been long debated. Are those cohabiting working and earning more like married or single individuals? How does the presence of children explain these differences?

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Social Mobility and Social Regimes: Intergenerational Mobility in Hungary, 1949-2017

Speaker: Paweł Bukowski, London School of Economics and Political Science
Presentation based on paper joint with Gregory Clark, Attila Gaspar and Rita Peto.
In this study, social mobility rates in Hungary 1949-2017, for upper class and underclass families were measure, using surnames to measure social status.
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Changes in attitudes towards gender norms following childbirth

Speaker: Lucas van der Velde, Warsaw School of Economics
How does extending family influence attitudes and behaviour? Does it make people more conservative?
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Using Facebook for Recruiting Survey Participants: Advantages, Challenges, and Practical Considerations

Speaker: Andre Grow, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
An increasing number of scholars advocate the use of Facebook’s advertising platform to recruit participants for survey research. This approach has been applied in the context of both surveys of the general population and surveys of hard-to-reach subpopulations. In this presentation, I will discuss this new approach to respondent recruitment in some detail, focusing on advantages, challenges, and practical considerations.
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Narratives of the future shape of fertility in uncertain times. Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

Speaker:
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
The sociological and demographic literatures have widely demonstrated that fertility decisions are constrained by individuals’ previous life experiences and socioeconomic status – the “shadow of the past”. However, rising uncertainty in contemporary societies necessitates an analytical framework that acknowledges the influence of the future in the fertility decision-making process.
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Smart-working: Work Flexibility without constraints

Speaker: Paola Profeta, Director, Msc Politics and Policy Analysis, Bocconi University; Director, AXA Research Lab on Gender EqualityPresident, European Public Choice Society
Does removing the constraints of time and place of work increase the utility of workers and firms?
The outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus is threatening the growth of the economy worldwide. To contain the spread of the coronavirus and curb the contagion, workers have been allowed to work outside their workplace, thanks to the use of technology.
The coronavirus induced home-office as the only way to continue working during the pandemic and avoid the collapse of the economy.
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Gender Inequality During the Pandemic in Hungary and Beyond

Speaker: Eva Fodor, Co-Director, CEU Democracy Institute, Associate Professor, Department of Gender Studies, Central European University

As most other EU countries, Hungary implemented severe lockdown measures during the 1 st wave of the pandemic in the spring of 202, including the closure of the schools and childcare facilities. This meant that for several months a vastly increased volume of childcare had to be supplied by individual households without much institutional help. In the end of May 2020, we conducted a representative survey in Hungary to find out how the pandemic affected the gendered division of these childcare and other types of care duties. In this talk I will review the results of our survey, consider its implications for women’s paid labor market participation and assess their long-term consequences in light of the growing international comparative literature and a qualitative study conducted simultaneously in Hungary.
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Parenthood, gender, & the risks and consequences of job loss: Pre & post-pandemic patterns in Canada

Speaker: Sylvia Fuller,
University Job loss can be difficult to navigate for individuals and their families, and is an increasingly salient concern in the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk draws on forthcoming research to illuminate the relationship between gender, parental status, and job loss prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Pooled data from Statistics Canada’s Workplace and Employee Survey from 1999-2005 reveals the extent to which intersections of gender and parental status are associated with pre-pandemic risks of job loss and its consequences: re-employment, unemployment, and quality of new jobs relative to those that were lost. We find that parenthood reduces the probability of job loss for prime-age men with young children, but only when employer discretion is involved. Despite similar risks of job loss relative to other groups, mothers of young children are the least likely to be re-employed in the subsequent year, mainly because of their higher levels of labour market withdrawal rather than unemployment. Holding out for “family friendly” work arrangements does not seem to account for this pattern. Job loss dynamics thus not only reflect but also reinforce asymmetrical breadwinning and caring roles for mothers and fathers of preschool-aged children. Labour Force Survey Data over the course of the pandemic also reveal asymmetrical effects for mothers and fathers that magnify gender differences in employment among parents.
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Integration of Household Survey Data through Statistical matching: where we stand?

Speaker: Marcello D'Orazio, Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat)

Statistical matching (aka data fusion or synthetic matching) denotes a wide set of statistical techniques aimed at exploiting data collected in independent (sample) surveys referred to the same target population; the purpose is that of investigating the relationship between variables not jointly observed in the same survey. These techniques date back to the ‘60s, but they became very popular around 2000 (Rässler’s monograph published in 2002; D’Orazio at al monograph in 2006); they represent a way to respond to increasing user’s demand of new statistical outputs but avoiding the negative implications of enlarging questionnaires of exiting surveys (to collect a wider set of data) in terms of response burden and accuracy of collected data. Most of the statistical techniques proposed for data fusion purposes are adaptions of methods developed to deal with missing values in surveys; they include both parametric and nonparametric methods that can serve for estimating a target parameter (correlation or regression coefficient) or just creating a “synthetic” data source at microdata level.
Despite the efforts, many of the applications of data fusion techniques to integrate independent surveys not designed to be integrated a posteriori turned out unsuccessful; mainly because of the many unmet underlying assumptions and constraints. In National Statistics Offices the lesson learnt led to redesign some of the household surveys having in mind also the integration purposes.
The webinar will give an overview of the most popular statistical matching techniques and the underlying assumptions, that play a key role in their application. The webinar will also highlight the critical points in designing a statistical matching application.
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Technological Change and Labor Market Opportunities of Disadvantaged Workers

Speaker: Melanie Arntz, University of Heidelberg

The role of skill-biased technological change for increasing wage inequality is well documented. However, technological change may improve equality of opportunity if it increases returns to individual abilities relative to the returns to parental background. In line with this, we find that the wage penalty associated with a disadvantaged family background declined. Our analysis shows that this development is consistently linked to technological progress. The introduction and the use of new technologies in certain occupations explain the rising share of workers with disadvantaged parental background in those occupations as well as their rising relative wages. Moreover, we provide evidence that the depreciation of parents’ occupation-specific knowledge and networks during rapid technological transformations is a major force behind these shifts. Hence, technological change turns out to be an equalizing force that creates labor market opportunities for workers from a disadvantaged family background.
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Robots, Marriageable Men, Family and Fertility

Speaker: Massimo Anelli, Bocconi University
Robots have radically changed the demand for skills and the role of workers in production. This phenomenon has replaced routine and mostly physical work of blue collar workers, but it has also created positive employment spillovers in other occupations and sectors that require more social interaction and managing skills. This study examines how the exposure to robots and its heterogeneous effects on the labor market opportunities of men and women affected demographic behavior. Researchers focused on the United States and find that in regions that were more exposed to robots, gender gaps in income and labor force participation declined, reducing the relative economic stature of men. Regions affected by intense robot penetration experienced also an increase in both divorce and cohabitation and a decline -albeit non-significant- in the number of new marriages. While there was no change in the overall fertility rate, marital fertility declined, and there was an increase in out-of-wedlock births. The findings are consistent with the prediction of the classical Becker's model (1974) and provide further support to the hypothesis that changes in labor market structures that affect the prospects of men may reduce their marriage-market value and affect marital and fertility behavior.
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Fertility trends in low-fertility countries: Heading towards an uncertain future

Speaker: Tomáš Sobotka
Vienna Institute of Demography (Austrian Academy of Sciences) / Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital
Increasing control over reproduction has brought one of the major social transformations in modern times—a wide-scale shift to a small family size that is now under way all around the world. Despite long-lasting experience of low and very low fertility across the highly developed countries, period fertility rates in many countries remain unstable and difficult to predict.
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The Adjustment of Labor Markets to Robots

In this study, detailed administrative data were used to study the adjustment of local labor markets to industrial robots in Germany. Robot exposure, as predicted by a shift-share variable, is associated with displacement effects in manufacturing, but those are fully offset by new jobs in services. The incidence mostly falls on young workers just entering the labor force. Automation is related to more stable employment within firms for incumbents, and this is driven by workers taking over new tasks in their original plants. Several measures indicate that those new jobs are of higher quality than the previous ones. Young workers also adapt their educational choices, and substitute away from vocational training towards colleges and universities. Finally, industrial robots have benefited workers in occupations with complementary tasks, such as managers or technical scientists.
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Income loss and leave taking: The importance of labour market collective agreements for parental leave use

Speaker: Ann-Zofie Duvander, Stockholm University

Research have found strong support for the assumption that a major reason for the gendered division of parental leave is the financial compensation during leave. Swedish national parental leave benefit provides 77.6 percent of earlier earnings up to a ceiling and a substantive share o especially fathers hit this ceiling. On increasing number of work places collective agreements between union and employers’ organisation cover the income loss above the ceiling during leave. We focus on the importance of such collective agreements by examining fathers’ parental leave take-up across the 2000s, as agreements were expanded during this period in time. The main division of agreements is between the state, the municipality and county, and the private sector. Results indicate that fathers with income above the ceiling increase their use over the time period. Especially in the private sector a polarisation can be seen, where fathers with above ceiling income increase their leave use, while fathers with below ceiling income fall behind. Nevertheless, we find only small differences in trends in leave take-up between fathers’ in different sectors. The results will be discussed from a policy perspective, especially regarding how economic and other incentives to leave taking will matter at different points in time.

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Emotion and Fertility in Times of Disaster: Conceptualizing Fertility Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Speaker: Natalie Nitsche, Max Planck Institute of Demograhic Research

Fertility responses to disasters such as pandemics, recessions, or natural disasters have been varied in direction, strength, and across time and place. This background makes predicting fertility change in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a multi-faceted disaster, challenging.

We propose a novel theoretical framework, which posits that emotion experienced during disasters and emotional change caused by disasters, directly impacts reproductive behaviors and can be utilized to predict disaster-fertility responses. Leaning on evolutionary biology, the affective sciences, and cultural psychology, we develop three competing theoretical models, which we will empirically test using data from the German Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam). Analyses will be based on the pairfam ‘corona’ wave collected in May and June 2020.
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Family Policies – a remedy against low fertility?

Speaker: Gerda Neyer, Stockholm University
Over the past two decades, many demographers and political actors have focused on family policies as the key factor of fertility development and fertility behavior in Europe and other post-industrial societies. In general, family policies that promote a gender-egalitarian division of employment and care are seen as the panacea against below-replacement fertility, while those that refrain from altering the gendered division of employment and care are considered to lead to irreversibly low fertility levels. Recent labor-market and fertility developments seem to challenge these propositions.
In this seminar, research findings are presented, that highlight the complex interactions between family policies, labor market aspects, and fertility in order to contribute to the current debates on research perspectives and research strategies to analyze and explain fertility developments in post-industrial countries.
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Parents’ division of housework and the mental load before and during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK

Speaker: Anke Plagnol, University of London

Many studies explore the division of housework and childcare between heterosexual couples without addressing the crucial issue of the cognitive load of household management – also known as the ‘mental load’.

Using primary data on the mental load of housework and childcare, supplemented by the UK Household Longitudinal Study, we examine how co-resident, heterosexual couples with children under the age of 12 divided housework and childcare both before and during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our key interest is to examine to what extent gender explains the division of housework among couples, including the mental load, above and beyond other factors.

We find that before the pandemic, women carried out the bulk of both physical and household management tasks, and this division did not change much during the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. There is limited evidence of men taking on a larger share of housework than before the pandemic, their share of the ‘visible’ unpaid work of food shopping increased, but they did not take on more of the ‘invisible’ mental load.

The analysis shows that household management tasks need to be examined to fully understand the patterns of the unequal division of household labour.
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Late fertility across the high-income countries

Speaker: Eva Beaujouan, University of Vienna Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital

After decades of decline in birth rates at younger ages, childbearing after age 30 has become prominent to explain overall fertility levels in Europe, the English-speaking countries and East Asia. The desire and ability of those who did not have children in their 20s to have them later (“fertility recuperation”) are thus decisive for future fertility levels, and for life satisfaction among those who wish to have children. I will provide an overview of the recent trends towards later childbearing and discuss the implications for individuals as well as for fertility levels.
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Statistical discrimination at young age: new evidence from four decades of individual data across 56 countries

Speaker: Joanna Tyrowicz, FAME|GRAPE University of Warsaw, and IZA

Statistical discrimination oers a compelling narrative on gender wage gaps during the early stages of the career. Expecting absences related to child-bearing and child-rearing, the employers discount productivity to adjust for the probable losses such as costs associated with finding substitutes, leaving customers, etc. If that is the case, lower and delayed fertility should imply lower discount in wages, and consequently reductions in the gender pay gap among entrants. We put this conjecture to test against the data. We provide a novel set of estimates of adjusted gender wage gaps among youth for 56 countries spanning four decades. We estimate that postponing childbirth by a year reduce the adjusted gap 2 percentage points (15%). We show that this estimate is consistent with statistical discrimination, but for some countries the estimates of AGWG imply that either statistical discrimination is not accurate or taste-based mechanisms are also at play.
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The Covid-19 crisis and gender equality: risks and opportunities

Speaker: Jill Rubery, University of Manchester
How did Covid-19 affect women’s labour market position? The Covid‑19 pandemic has not just interrupted but disrupted the normal functioning of our economies and societies. Disruption provides an opportunity for progressive change but also engenders the risk of significant reversals in social progress. In this context, this chapter aims to assess the gendered impact of the first stage of the public health crisis, that is, the period from the beginning of significant Covid‑19 outbreaks in Europe in March 2020 to the loosening of lockdowns in May and June 2020, with precise timing dependent on the country. The focus is on the initial policy responses and what they tell us about both the potential for positive change and the risks of reversals in progress towards gender equality.
All crises have gendered impacts, and Covid‑19 is no exception. Differences in women’s and men’s positions in the employment and social protection system as well as in the division of unpaid household work and care result in gendered socio-economic impacts. Nevertheless, the extent to which the burden of crises falls on men and women depends both on their pre-crisis roles and how policies to address the crisis mitigate or exacerbate these effects. This crisis differs from others in that it has a health cause, not an economic one, even if the dominant neoliberal economic model and usterity policies that have squeezed expenditure on public services and social protection may have contributed to its impacts. This health issue is also gendered, with men much more vulnerable to hospitalisation and death from Covid‑19, although this goes beyond the scope of this chapter. Another key difference is the impact – at least in the short term – on the household. With the closing of schools and childcare facilities, the confining of people to their immediate households and the widespread adoption of teleworking, suddenly the home arena has moved centre stage. While in most crises the spotlight tends to be on the economy and paid employment, in this crisis the unpaid care work done in the home has gained unprecedented visibility, particularly as it is being done alongside wage work and other ommitments. As a result of the pandemic, the contributions of professionals to care and education have also become more visible by their absence. The dark side to this centrality of the home is the increased risk that women face from domestic violence.
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LabFam seminar series: Air Pollution and Job Search

Speaker: Steffen Künn, Maastricht University
Air pollution is shown to have detrimental effects on health, productivity and cognition, which are important factors contributing to job search success. We are the first to study the impact of air pollution on job search success and behaviour. In a first step, we use administrative data on unemployed job seekers in Germany and exploit spatial and temporal variation in exposure to particulate matter (PM10). We find evidence that higher levels of PM10 increase individuals’ probability to exit unemployment but reduces their realized wages. In a second step, we consider detailed survey data to shed light on the exact mechanism behind this observation. We find that exposure to PM10 pollution triggers a reduction in individuals’ reservation wages, making job seekers apparently more likely to accept (low quality) job offers faster.
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Can We Change Overwork Culture? The Role of Workplaces in Challenging Definitions of Ideal Workers

Speaker: Youngjoo Cha, Indiana University
This study examines whether organizational policies can help to challenge the way we define “ideal workers.” In American workplaces, there is a prevailing normative conception that ideal workers put work before other commitments, working long hours and making themselves available for work 24/7. This traditional way of defining ideal workers has shown to lead to negative consequences for employee’s health and family life. This paper examines whether flexible work policies (e.g., time-off, flextime, telecommuting) help to alter this “ideal worker” norm. We use the data from our own national survey of 4,013 employees, fielded by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago in 2018, using their AmeriSpeak panel, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. Our analysis shows that flexible work policies alone do not weaken the ideal worker norm. However, if they are combined with certain conditions, such as gender-neutral framing of the policies, consistency in policy granting process, and easy accessibility to the policies, they may change the ideal worker norm. Employees in these organizations are less likely to define successful employees as someone with traditional ideal worker traits. Furthermore, these employees assess their fit to the successful employee image as well as organizational and job fit to be greater, less likely to express desire to leave their jobs, and more likely to report better wellbeing outcomes, compared to employees in organizations where flexible work policies are implemented in less supportive, more gendered, and more discretionary ways.
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Problems in the acquisition, use and development of skills at work: a call for new interdisciplinary research

Speaker: Damian Grimshaw, King's College London
In a context of new digital technologies and macroeconomic uncertainty (exacerbated during the pandemic), employer incentives to invest in training and career paths, and to enhance the quality of working life, are changing with potentially adverse consequences for inequalities. This research highlights four puzzles: high skill demand lags behind high skill supply; real wages are not keeping up with higher skill supply; the skill bias of new technologies is uneven; and diverse organisational factors make the skill-productivity-job quality relationship highly contingent. The research review highlights the need for new investigations into employer demand for skills and its contingent relationship with forms of innovation, productivity and work organisation. Such research would contribute to the important policy goal of reducing society’s over-reliance on work intensification and Taylorist production as the main motors for economic growth.
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Who benefits from an increase in gender equality? Depressive symptoms among men and women in 28 European countries

Speaker: Małgorzata Mikucka
Previous research suggested that gender equality correlates with depressive symptoms, but the results were not conclusive. This analysis adds to the debate by analyzing the correlates of changes of country-level gender equality over time instead of focusing on cross-country differences. I tested whether an increase in gender equality correlated with fewer depressive symptoms among men and women, and whether the change experienced by women was more positive than the change experienced by men. The analysis used the European Social Survey data for 28 countries (2006-2014, N = 129,460 individuals) and multilevel regression model. At the macro level I considered four different measures of gender equality. The results showed that an increase in gender equality correlated with fewer depressive symptoms. However, contrary to expectations, the effect was statistically significant only among men. In other words, an increase in gender equality was related to a wider (and not narrower) gender gap in depression. This result was robust across different population segments and for various dimensions of gender equality. This suggests that future research should pay more attention to the benefits that men, but not women, derive from gender equality.
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The Impact of ICT on Working from Home: Evidence from EU Countries

Speaker: Vahagn Jerbashian, University of Barcelona
We use data from 14 European countries and provide evidence that the fall in prices of information and communication technologies (ICT) is associated with a significant increase in the share of employees who work from home. This result also holds within age, gender, and occupation groups. While we find no significant differences among gender and occupation groups, we find that the effect of the fall in ICT prices on working from home increases with age. A rationale for such a result is that the preference for working from home increases with age and the benefits from working on-site decline with it.
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Labor supply effects of a universal cash transfer

Speaker: Jan Gromadzki

Unconditional cash transfers in the form of a universal basic income, a universal basic pension or a universal child benefit are increasingly being discussed in many countries. In this article, I investigate the labor supply effects of the introduction of a large unconditional cash benefit. I exploit the unique design of the child benefit program in Poland to identify the pure income effect of the monthly transfer. I find very small labor supply effects on both the intensive and extensive margin. Additional evidence shows that instead of extending their free time, households receiving the benefit substantially increased their consumption and savings.

This seminar series is a part of POLISH RETURNS 2019 PROJECT, financed National Agency for Academic Exchange.
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The transition to parenthood in same-sex and different-sex couples. A theoretically informed multi-method approach

The transition to parenthood in same-sex and different-sex couples. A theoretically informed multi-method approach
Speaker: Marie Evertsson

A vast amount of research has studied the gendered transition to parenthood, trying to disentangle its causes and consequences. In the GENPARENT project (ERC-2017-COG, GA #771770), we take this endeavor one step further by including same-sex couples in longitudinal studies of couples becoming parents (www.sofi.su.se/genparent). Research from an event-study approach of the income development before and after child birth in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden will be presented. The findings point to the importance of gender norms and identity formation for the outcome. Departing from interviews with female same-sex couples about to become parents in Sweden and the Netherlands, findings from qualitative analyses of the choice of birth mother will also be presented and discussed from the perspective of national context, physiological desires and power.
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Micro-mechanisms of daily life among working couples. Analyzing time management system to understand organization of time, care and work

Speaker: Mia Tammelin, JAMK University of Applied Sciences
The presentation discusses family, work and care through the lenses of time. The presentation is founded on the idea that time should be understood in relation to others, not as a private matter. The understanding on time as a commodity to be spent, saved and used underlines that time is perceived as a quantifiable object. Still inequalities exist between individuals – for example, regarding the right to have time or about the activities that take place in time. Therefore, time needs to be understood as a social phenomenon that includes power structures and rights, as well as relationships with others. The ways individuals use and experience time, and the activities taking place in time, cannot be isolated from the wider societal context and are shaped by, for example, gendered culture of working life, parenthood, and gender relations. Using couple’s time management systems -framework, I examine how couples organize time in a family. I present findings of a research project using a couple-level interview data collected in Finland to explore couples’ practices in relation to time, and to discuss the theoretical implications of this.

This seminar series is a part of POLISH RETURNS 2019 PROJECT, financed National Agency for Academic Exchange.
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Tasks, personality, and wages – an empirical analysis for Germany

Speaker: Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt

Technological change is leading to an increase in jobs that require non-routine cognitive tasks, i.e., analytic and interactive tasks. At the same time, various studies show that personality traits are important for labor market success. This article examines whether certain personality traits are rewarded differently, depending on the job task the individual performs.

Using German employee data from 2017/2018, this article examines the individual wage effects of job tasks and personality traits as well as their interaction.

Results suggest positive wage effects for analytical and interactive tasks, and for extraversion and emotional stability. In addition, the wage returns to openness vary depending on the task requirements at the workplace. Employees with higher levels of openness earn an additional wage return in analytic tasks, while they face a wage disadvantage in routine manual tasks.

To date, the combined wage effects of individual job tasks and personality traits have not been extensively studied because data about both job tasks and personality at the employee level is scarce. This article aims to contribute to our understanding of wage differences among employees.
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Impacts of digital transformation on the labour market: Substitution potentials of occupations

Speaker: Katharina Dengler

The digital transformation will have large effects on the labour market. Previous studies mostly reveal that half of all current jobs are susceptible to automation in the next 10 to 20 years. We calculate automation probabilities – labelled as substitution potentials – for occupations in Germany by using German occupational data from an expert database. Considering approximately 8000 tasks, we assess whether they can be replaced by computers or computer-controlled machines according to programmable rules. We do not give a forecast for the future but estimate existing technological possibilities. We find that 34% of German employees are at risk in 2019. Furthermore, we provide evidence on the relationship between automation risks and employment growth as well as between automation risks and job quality such as job insecurity and work exposure.
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Political Conflict at Home: A Gender & Couple Perspective on Political Orientations & Party Preferences

Speaker: Families are important sites at which individuals exchange and transmit values and practices associated with social cohesion through day-to-day interaction. Family and gender relations, however, have been particularly affected by social change in recent decades while new social and cultural conflicts have surfaced and appear to divide contemporary societies, for example along issues of cultural openness and social solidarity. It is at present unclear how these social and cultural conflicts relate to political changes that have affected family lives. For example, across Europe, various political work-care models currently exist but we know little about how these changes have altered personal political preferences and their transmission within couples and households. Related to this, both egalitarian and essentialist gender ideologies and family ideals have spread unevenly across genders and countries, with unclear consequences for social conflict.

Daniela Grunow, Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main
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Gender, Racial, and Class Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts on Parent’s Work & Family Time

Speaker: Liana C. Sayer, University of Maryland
The pandemic has caused sharp disruptions in work and family patterns and exacerbated chronic and life stressors for individuals and families. Impacts have varied by employment status and disproportionately
affected mothers, particularly those who are newly un- and under-employed. Gendered structural and cultural factors reduce mothers’ employment and leisure time and increase household and care work relative to fathers. Labor market shocks like the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic have affected gender
differences in time use.

For example, the concentration of job loss among men during the 2008 recession led to a modest uptick in married fathers’ household and care work and women getting jobs or increasing work
hours if employed. However, during the pandemic, job loss and reduced work hours have been concentrated among women and have affected all mothers and less educated and racial minority women more strongly.
Further, the pandemic has heightened time needed for care of children because of child care closures and
remote learning of schoolchildren. Today, three-quarters of parents of young children have either no market child care or drastically reduced hours. The lack of formal child care affects mothers more than fathers,
because of the gendered responsibility for child care and ideology of intensive mothering. Existing studies of influences of COVID-19 on parental time use are limited because they analyze non-time diary data from convenience samples composed primarily of White, middle-class, married parents and investigate only paid and unpaid work.
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Imperfect Signals

Speaker: Georg Graetz, Uppsala University, Institute of Labor Economics
We explore human capital accumulation, signaling, and employer learning under the assumption that some educational choices are difficult to observe. I distinguish between visible but coarse aspects of education, such as college completion, and finely differentiated but partly hidden aspects, such as the amount of productive knowledge acquired. When educational choices are difficult to observe, their privately optimal level may be above or below the social optimum. I test for the direction of inefficiency in data from the US and Sweden. Preliminary results suggest that due to information frictions, students acquire inefficiently little productive knowledge each year they spent in education. At the same time, students likely spend more time in education than under a perfect-information counterfactual scenario.
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Uncertainty, ambivalence and indifference: Psychological origins of hesitation and doubts in reproductive decision-making

Speaker: Monika Mynarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Centre for Individual and Family Life-Course Studies

The decision to become a parent is difficult and often associated with hesitation and uncertainty. In demographic research, uncertainty is commonly captured in childbearing intentions, as many respondents express doubts, whether they intend to have a (another) child in the near future. On the one hand, this uncertainty is considered an important reason for why some intentions remain unfulfilled (i.e., uncertainty weakens the link between intentions and actual behaviours). On the other, the researchers are highly interested in sources of this uncertainty, hoping to better understand how childbearing decisions are made. In particular, external sources such as economic uncertainty or social anomie have been intensively investigated. Much less attention has been paid to the internal, psychological factors. One of such factors may be ambivalence in attitudes toward childbearing.

Ambivalence in attitudes towards childbearing and uncertain childbearing intentions are focal for the research project, funded by the National Science Centre (Poland) and launched in 2020 at the Centre for Individual and Family Life-Course Studies, at the Institute of Psychology of UKSW. The aim of my talk is to present the assumptions, goals and first outcomes of this project. I will briefly summarize main theoretical models of reproductive decision making and discuss distinction between uncertainty, indifference and ambivalence in relation to childbearing intentions. I will outline research activities of my research team, whose members are looking at different psychological factors, important for childbearing motivations, which might lead to weak or uncertain intentions.

This seminar series is a part of POLISH RETURNS 2019 PROJECT, financed National Agency for Academic Exchange.
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The long-lasting scar of bad jobs in the Spanish labour market

Speakers: Sara de la Rica/Ainhoa Osés Arranz, ISEAK

Most young Spaniards start their working lives with low wages and highly unstable jobs. Many of them progressively improve their working conditions and move towards better jobs. Yet a relevant fraction get trapped into those low-quality jobs. We refer to this phenomenon as the scar of bad jobs. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent and nature of the scar, which helps learn about the hysteresis of bad jobs in Spain. To do so, we use longitudinal administrative records and compute an index to measure the quality of jobs. This is constructed by combining data on labour earnings, number of hours worked and employment rotation. By observing individuals not only at the start of their career, but also five and ten years later, we find that a bad job at the beginning is an important predictor of a bad job five years after, particularly if a bad job stems from working few hours. Additionally, those who escape from bad jobs in the first five years are unlikely to be trapped into them in the long run. Interestingly, the depth of the scar varies along the economic cycle. In particular, the Great Recession severely impacted the future careers of entrants, compared to the pre-crisis workers. Lastly, we identify that women, younger entrants and hospitality workers are more prone to hold their bad jobs in the medium and long term, and hence to be relegated to the lower tail of the income distribution.
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How precarious labour market trajectories generate path dependencies in commodified policy contexts: lesson learned from probabilistic and multistate approaches of migrant women’s labour market trajectories in Belgium

The migrant-native gap in labour market outcomes in Belgium is among the largest of all OECD-countries. Using longitudinal data from the Belgian social security registers we show that migrant origin women have a lower probability than native women of entering sustainable employment, while also having a higher probability of leaving employment at shorter durations. Migrant women’s more precarious labour market trajectories give rise to a higher frequency of transitions between employment and unemployment, which we show is vital to take into account when comparing the impact of childbearing on maternal employment between migrant women and natives, and to account for the lower uptake of childcare and parental leave among migrant mothers.

Speaker: Karel Neels
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Examining implications of widowhood on well-being: results and challenges

Speaker: Michał Myck, CenEA

The objective of the presentation will be to summarize results of recent research focused on the evolution of well-being in widowhood, and to discuss the broader analytical context and key challenges. Presented results will draw primarily on a paper co-authored with Maja Adena, Daniel Hamermesh and Monika Oczkowska: “Home alone: Widows’ well-being and time”:

Losing a partner is a life-changing experience. We draw on numerous datasets to examine differences between widowed and partnered older women and to provide a comprehensive picture of well-being and its development in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use, an aspect which has not been studied previously. Based on data from several European countries we trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed ‘statistical twins’ and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood’s impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow partial recovery over a five-year period. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women in several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows’ reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.

This seminar series is a part of POLISH RETURNS 2019 PROJECT, financed National Agency for Academic Exchange.
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Computers as Stepping Stones? Technological Change and Equality of Labor Market Opportunities

Speaker: Ulrich Zierahn, ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research
This paper analyzes whether technological change improves equality of labor market opportunities by decreasing returns to parental background. We find that in Germany during the 1990s, computerization improved the access to technology adopting occupations for workers with low-educated parents, and reduced their wage penalty within these occupations. We also show that this significantly contributed to a decline in the overall wage penalty experienced by workers from disadvantaged parental backgrounds over this time period. Competing mechanisms, such as skill-specific labor supply shocks and skill-upgrading, do not explain these findings.

This seminar series is a part of POLISH RETURNS 2019 PROJECT, financed National Agency for Academic Exchange.
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The Flexibility Paradox: Why flexible working leads to more work and what we can do about that

Speaker: Heejung Chung
Using data from across Europe and drawing from studies across the world, I will evidence how flexible working can lead to workers working longer and harder, with work encroaching on family life. I argue that this is largely due to our current work and work-life balance culture, where long hours work in the office is hailed as the ideal productive worker and where individuals are pushed to believe that they are the entrepreneurs of their own lives. This is compounded by the decline in workers’ bargaining power and increased levels of insecurities with the decline of the welfare state. Similarly, norms around gender roles and intensive parenting cultures shape how the patterns of exploitation manifests differently for women and men. Women end up exploiting themselves at home by increasing time spent on childcare and housework, reenforcing traditional gender roles. This, and assumptions around women’s flexible working can explain why women and mothers may especially be party to negative career consequences when working flexibly.

However, all is not lost. I argue that changes in the way we think about work, work life balance and gender roles can help shape the outcomes of flexible working.
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