The Gender Gap
By : Chichilnisky, Graciela; Review of Development Economics
The author explains the “gender gap” as a Nash equilibrium of a game with incomplete information about women’s work at home and in the marketplace. Expectations about women’s lower wages leads to the overutilization of women in the household, and this, in turn, leads to lower productivity and lower wages for women in the marketplace. The situation is rational but generally Pareto inferior.With logistic learning by doing, at high levels of skill there is a Pareto-superior equilibrium, where men and women share efforts equally at home and receive the same pay in the marketplace, firms enhance their profits, and there is more welfare at home. Inequity at home breeds inequity in the marketplace and, reciprocally, inequity in the marketplace leads to inequity at home, causing a persistent gender gap. Appropriate contracts may be needed to implement the superior solution, since generally governments do not intervene in family matters.
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