Economic Woman

Econometrics, gender, equity and more.

Feminist Economics on YouTube

with 2 comments

Folks over at the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) have started a YouTube channel for feminist economics. So far they’ve collected a number of videos from the release of the World Economic Forum’s 2007 Global Gender Gap Report. You can watch Saadia Zahidi’s presentation here, and a response panel here. Both of those clips are 20 minutes plus, so I’ll embed a short interview with Laura Tyson.

Call me naive – or just Canadian – but I didn’t realize until I watched these videos that the United States has no federally enforced paid maternity leave at all, and only 6 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Dear god. For a quick sense of just how backward that is, check out this Wikipedia chart summarizing parental leave policies around the world.

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Written by Allison

29 April 2008 at 6:09 pm

2 Responses

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  1. laws mandating maternity leave (even if men are eligible) will make profit-maximizing businesses more reluctant to hire women. how big an effect they will have is an empirical question, but it could easily end up hurting women.

    Michael Bishop

    15 May 2008 at 2:42 pm

  2. I was browsing this blog (coming from Marginal Revolution) and came across this post.

    In the US, employers cannot legally ask job applicants if or when they are planning on having children. Combined with maternity leave, this can mean that its riskier for employers to hire women than men. The more maternity leave, the more risky the prospect becomes, and so the less likely they are to hire an equally qualified female over a male.

    It seems to me that if you favor government involvement in this sort of thing, direct welfare for needy mothers might be a better option than paid maternity leave. Then businesses would have more incentives to hire women who may become pregnant. That probably won’t help professional jobs where employers simply cannot afford to loose an employee for so long, though.

    For some small firms, I think an unexpected 6+ week leave of absence of one of its key employees could spell disaster for the whole business. I’d imagine it could be equally troublesome for a project in a larger firm. I’m certainly not going to argue that the burden of child-rearing is distributed equally in our society, but I think there is a benefit to allowing employers and employees to negotiate terms they both agree to.

    Many of the employers I know of in the US offer paid maternity leave as part of the job contract. I don’t know how widespread this is, though. Being a single male, its not something that I’ve looked into.

    Grant

    15 May 2008 at 3:11 pm


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