Economics of Gender
In this course we explore gender differences in economic outcomes, in both households and the labor market. Economic outcomes differ substantially by gender. Why do we see these differences and do they represent a problem, which families, schools, firms or governments should do something about?
This course provides an overview over the large and growing recent literature in economics on topics related to gender, work and the family. The course covers topics such as female and male labor force participation, the gender wage gap, marriage and divorce, fertility, domestic violence, women’s empowerment within the household and societies. We study the role of different factors shaping gender inequality (such as human captial differences, occupational segregation, discrimination and gender norms) and discuss the role of policies (such as quotas, leave policies, access to abortion). We finally factor in insights from other fields by considering gender differences in pychological attributes (studying aspects like the role of competitiveness or attitudes towards negotiation).
The course is based on the study of empirical research papers, and we critically assess and discuss the research methods applied in these studies. Thus a central aim is to gain insight into what makes a good empirical study. Research findings, underlying economic models, and our analysis of empirical trends will all enter an evaluation of policy issues. The course will thus also help prepare students for conducting independent empirical research themselves and and help them finding interesting thesis topics.
MSc programme in Economics – elective course
Bacheloruddannelsen i økonomi – valgfag på 3. år
The Danish BSc programme in Economics - elective at the 3rd year
Due to similarity in the Syllabus it is not allowed to take the course and the exam in "Economics of Gender (AØKK08237U)" if the course "Family of Economics (AØKK08097U)" already has been taken and passed.
After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Account for key economic concepts within the economics of gender
- Define economic frameworks related to gender, their assumptions and predictions.
- Discuss the covered content in relevant new contexts to address new topics and policy issues related to gender.
- Critically assess topics in the economics of gender based on empirical studies.
- Interpret and extract information from relevant scientific economics papers related to gender, identify their contributions and limitations.
- Select the frameworks and pieces of empirical evidence, which are relevant for policy questions and debates related to gender.
- Organize evidence to form an argument around a given issue within the economics of gender.
- Synthesize empirical evidence from multiple sources, research articles and aggregate data, and present them in written and oral form at different levels of detail.
- Evaluate the real-life relevance of possible economic explanations within economics of gender, to be able to assess which explanation or hypothetical outcome is more or less likely.
- Assess contradicting findings of studied papers and present their trade-offs.
- Read selected articles related to the economics of gender, exctract appropriate conclusions and assess whether the presented empirical evidence convincingly identifies causal relationships.
- Connect, combine and adapt general ideas and concepts to specific policy problems related to gender
- Develop research designs in economic applications in complex, unpredictable situations.
- Initiate and manage discussions related to the economics of gender and address topics and policy issues
The format of the course is a combination of lectures, exercises
and a variety of activities in class.
In the lectures, the teacher presents the broader topic and the assigned papers’ placement in the literature. The lecture will be followed by discussions and presentations.
It is expected that the students throughout the course prepare for the course, participate activly in lectures and activities, work in groups, complete assignments and gives peer feedback.
Changes to teaching methods due to a pandemic crisis:
The teaching in this course might be changed to either fully or partly online due to a pandemic crisis. If changes are implemented please read the study messages at KUnet or the announcements in the virtual course room on Absalon (for enrolled students).
Series of academic articles listed in the course-reading list. Examples for articles from the course reading:
- Bertrand, M., E. Kamenica, and J. Pan. (2015). Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households. Quarterly Journal of Economics 130(2): 571–614.
- Exley, C, M Niederle, and L Vesterlund. Knowing when to ask: The cost of leaning-in. JPE, forthcoming.
- Hengel, E. (2017), Publishing while female: Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review. Working paper
- Beaman, L, E Duflo, R Pande, and P Topalova (2012). Female Leadership Raises Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Girls: A Policy Experiment in India. Science Magazine, February.
- Goldin, C., C. Rouse. 2000. Orchestrating impartiality: The impact of “blind” auditions on female musicians. American Economic Review 90(4) 715–741.
- Stevenson, B., & Wolfers, J. (2007). Marriage and divorce: Changes and their driving forces. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(2), 27-52.
- Folke, O., and J. Rickne (2020). All the single ladies: Job promotions and the durability of marriage. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 12.1: 260-87.
- Myers, C. (2017) The power of abortion policy: Re-examining the effects of young women’s access to reproductive control. Journal of Political Economy 125.6: 2178-2224.
- Selected chapters from the book: Blau, Francine D. and Anne E. Winkler (2017): The economics of women, men, and work. Eighth edition, Oxford University Press, 2018.(The book can be difficult to get in Europe, so it is not neseccary to buy it)
Students should be familiar with undergraduate microeconomics and econometrics from "Microeconomics I" and "Econometrics I" at the Bachelor of Economics, University of Copenhagen or similar courses.
2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).
Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Timetable"/"Se skema" at the right side of this page (E means Autumn).
You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E22; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn”
Press: “ View Timetable”
Please be aware:
- The schedule of the lectures can change without the participants´ acceptance. If this occures, you can see the new schedule in your personal timetable at KUnet, in the app myUCPH and through the links in the right side of this course description and the link above.
- It is the students´s own responsibility continuously throughout the study to stay informed about their study, their teaching, their schedule, their exams etc. through the curriculum of the study programme, the study pages at KUnet, student messages, the course description, the Digital Exam portal, Absalon, the personal schema at KUnet and myUCPH app etc.
During the course students will receive peer feedback on their assignments.
The lecturer gives collective oral feedback on the students activities in class.
Office hours: The lecturer offers office hours. The lecturer infoms the students when and where.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written assignment, 12 hours
- Type of assessment details
- Individual take-home exam. The students are not allowed to
communicate about the given problem-set or collaborate on the
assignment with anyone. If done so, it will be regarded as
The exam assignment is in English and must be answered in English.
All aids allowed at the written exams.
For further information about allowed aids for the re-examination, please go to the section "Re-exam".
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
for the written exam.
An oral re-examination may be with external assessment.
Criteria for exam assessment
Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.
In order to obtain the top grade "12", the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
In order to obtain the passing grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
Single subject courses (day)
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Go to 'Signup' for information about registration and enrollment.
Information about admission and tuition fee: Master and Exchange Programme, credit students and guest students (Open University)
- For teaching: Go to 'Remarks'.
- For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'.
- Department of Economics, Study Council
- Department of Economics
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Miriam Wüst (8-706c756c6470317a4368667271316e7831676e)
See ‘Course responsibles’
Please read "Remarks" regarding the schedule of the teaching.
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