Speakers




Friday, 28 August 2015
Conference Opening
9:00

Ana Fernandes
Bern University of Applied Sciences

Kim Tokarski
Head of Institute, Bern University of Applied Sciences

Herbert Binggeli
Rector, Bern University of Applied Sciences

Welcome Remarks
Session 1: Ethnic Discrimination
9:15

Doris Weichselbaumer
University of Linz, Austria

Beyond the veil: Discrimination Against Female Migrants Wearing a Headscarf in Germany
10:10Mahmood Arai
Stockholm University, Sweden
Stereotypes of Appearance, Non-cognitive Characteristics and Labor Market Chances
11:05Coffee break
Session 2: Fertility Discrimination
11:35

Ana Fernandes
Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Fertility Discrimination in Hiring in the German Speaking Labor Market
12:30Lunch
Session 3: Age, Gender and Ethnic Discrimination
14:00Sascha O. Becker
University of Warwick, UK
Ethnic Division of Labour and Conflict
14:55Peter Kuhn
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Age and Gender Profiling in the Chinese and Mexican Labor Markets:  Evidence from Four Job Boards
15:50Coffee break
Session 4: POLICY SESSION (Roundtable): The Economic Costs of Discrimination in the Labor Market
Moderator: Reinhard Riedl, Chief Science Officer, Business School, Bern University of Applied Sciences
16:30Reinhard Riedl
Chief Science Officer,
Bern University of Applied Sciences
Welcome Remarks
16:35Sascha O. Becker
Professor of Economics,
University of Warwick, UK
Motivation
16:45Sylvie Durrer
Director, Federal Office of Gender Equality

Christa Markwalder
First Vice-President, Swiss National Council

David Neumark
Professor of Economics,
University of California, Irvine, USA

Olga Rosa
Strategic HR Business Partner EMEA, Bio-Rad Laboratories
1. How to mitigate the prevalence of gender differentiated careers
2. How to better integrate second generation immigrants
18:30Closing Àpero
20:30Conference Dinner, Kornhauskeller, Bern
Saturday, 29 August 2015
Session 5: Experimental Evidence
9:00

Judy Rich
University of Portsmouth, UK

Survey on Correspondence Testing
9:55David Neumark
University of California, Irvine, USA
Is it Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment
10:50Coffee break
Session 6: Gender and Labor Market Outcomes
11:20Christina Felfe
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
After-school Care and Parents Labor Supply
12:15Ghazala Azmat
Queen Mary University of London, UK
Gender Differences in Response to Big Stakes
13:10Lunch
Social Program (optional)
14:15 - 16:15

Guided Walking Tour, Old Town, Bern, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Getting here

Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern
The conference key locations can be found on the following map (click to enlarge).


Ana Fernandes

Professor of Economics and Business at the Bern University of Applied Sciences

Fertility Discrimination in Hiring in the German Speaking Labor Market

(with Sascha O. Becker and Doris Weichselbaumer)

In this paper, we conduct a correspondence testing experiment to examine whether employers discriminate among job candidates in relation to family status (for example, to whether or not children are present in the household and the age of those children).  Our experiment relies on the fact that, in German speaking countries (Switzerland, Germany and Austria), cvs routinely include detailed information about the job candidate’s personal characteristics.  We consider 30-year old job applicants applying to secretarial and accounting jobs.

Short bio:

Prof. Fernandes received a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1999, where she worked under the supervision of Nobel Laureates Robert E. Lucas. Jr. and Gary S. Becker. She has conducted research on a wide variety of topics, including finance, altruism in the context of the family, and development economics. Prof. Fernandes has taught in reputed institutions, namely New York University’s Stern School of Business and the University of Bern. Her recent work focuses on labor market discrimination and she is conducting an SNF-sponsored study on “Fertility Discrimination in Hiring in the German Speaking Labor Market.” In addition to recent work, she has published in: the Journal of Economic Theory; Economics Letters; and Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Recent work:

“Finance and Competition” in Economic Journal (2014); Altruism, Labor Supply and Redistributive Neutrality” in Journal of Population Economics (2011).


David Neumark

Professor of Economics at University of California, Irvine, Senior Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California

Is it Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs?

New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment

A large scale field experiment – a resume correspondence study – was used to collect the data needed to address two fundamental limitations of existing field experiments testing for age discrimination.  The first limitation arises because the usual procedure in these studies of making older and younger applicants identical likely generates bias in favor of finding age discrimination.  We provide a legal and policy basis for modifying the design of such an experiment to give older applicants experience commensurate with their age.  The second limitation arises because greater unobserved differences in human capital investment of older applicants implies that existing field experiments are likely biased against finding age discrimination.  This problem is addressed by collecting the required data to implement the method in Neumark (2012) to eliminate this bias.  Finally, we use a variety of job profiles for older workers to test for differences associated with transitions to less demanding jobs (“bridge jobs”) at older ages.

Short bio:

Prof. Neumark is a labor economist whose research interests include minimum wages and living wages, affirmative action, sex differences in labor markets, the economics of aging, the employment relationship, and school-to-work programs, among other topics. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, and many other outlets.

Recent work:

He recently published Sex Differences in Labor Markets, and an edited volume titled The Economics of Affirmative Action.


Mahmood Arai

Professor of Economics at Stockholm University (Sweden)

Stereotypes of appearance, non-cognitive characteristics and labor market chances

(with Marie Gartell, Magnus Rödin and Gülay Özcan from the Swedish Public Employment Services - SPES)

Using data generated from an experiment involving 436 case workers at Swedish Public Employment Services and 75 job seekers at the Employment offices around Stockholm, we examine how stereotypes of appearance influences labour market chances. Our results indicate that being perceived to have stereotypical Swedish look is positively associated with many attributes that employers value on the labor market. Examining case workers' perception of how employers would score job seekers' portrait pictures, stereotypical Swedish look is highly correlated to our measured non-cognitive attributes such as being orderly, mature, ambitious, agreeable, educated and attractive.

Case workers tend to favor job seekers with foreign accent when choosing candidates to recommend for LMP. This is in line with the official policies of the Swedish Public Employment Service of giving priority to foreign born. When it comes to appearance, male case workers reverse this bias and act in favor of those who are perceived to have stereotypical Swedish look. Male case workers see productivity related attributes in Stereotypical Swedish look when they face men but when they face women candidates, they do not see anything else than stereotypical Swedishness of the look.

Short bio:

Prof. Arai’s research is focused on the economics of discrimination, especially gender and ethnic discrimination in the labor market. In this research, he tries to uncover the origin of inequality and the mechanisms that lead to the inequality between men and women as well as between people with varying ethnic backgrounds. In addition to recent publications, his work has appeared in Labour Economics, Industrial Relations, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and elsewhere. Prof. Arai has also been a member of the Economic Council of Sweden.

Recent work:

“The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Stereotypes of Men and Women with Arabic Names“ in International Migration Review (forthcoming); “Children’s first names, religiosity and immigration background in France” in International Migration (2012); and “Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings” in Journal of Labor Economics (2009).


Peter Kuhn

Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara

Age and Gender Profiling in the Chinese and Mexican Labor Markets:  Evidence from Four Job Boards
(with Miguel Delgado Helleseter and Kailing Shen)

When permitted by law, employers sometimes state the preferred age and sex of their employees in job ads. We extend Kuhn and Shen’s (2013) study of this practice to three new samples of job ads from China and Mexico, focusing on the interaction between firms’ age and gender preferences. In all four data sets, we find that both age and gender profiling become less common as job skill requirements rise (the "negative skill-targeting relationship").  Also, firms' explicit gender requests shift dramatically away from women and towards men when firms are seeking older (as opposed to younger) workers (the "age twist" in gender preferences). Some of this twist can be attributed to employers’ age-dependent demands for female beauty and male leadership. Employers also appear to exhibit a marked and widespread lack of explicit interest in women who (based on their age) have likely become mothers, regardless of their children's ages. 

Short bio:

He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1983. Since then he has held faculty positions at the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, and is currently at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include the effects of information technology on labor markets, wage and employment discrimination, personnel economics, China's labor markets, trade unions, immigration and displaced workers. He has published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review and many other outlets.

Recent work:

Recent work: “Are Women More Attracted to Cooperation than Men?” in Economic Journal forthcoming; “Do Chinese Employers Avoid Hiring Overqualified Workers? Evidence from an Internet Job Board” in Research in Labor Economics (2013); “Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Evidence from China” Quarterly Journal of Economics (2013).


Sascha O. Becker

Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, England. Previously, he held positions at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich and at the University of Stirling, Scotland

Division of Labour and Conflict

(with Luigi Pascali)

Anti-Semitism continues to be a widespread societal problem, rooted deeply in history. Using novel city-level and county-level data from Germany, we study the role of economic incentives in shaping the co-existence of Jews, Catholics and Protestants.

Short bio:

He studied Economics at the Universities of Bonn, Germany, and at the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (ENSAE) in Paris, France. He obtained his Ph.D. at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence in 2001. In Spring 2000, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Labor Economics at the University of California in Berkeley (UCB). In 2006, he spent 7 months at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD). During 2014/15 is a Visiting Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Recent work:

His research has appeared in international journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the American Economic Review.


Judy Rich

Reader, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth (UK)

What do field experiments of discrimination in markets tell us?: A meta analysis of studies conducted since 2000

Seventy field experiments of discrimination in markets conducted since 2000 across seventeen countries were surveyed. Significant and persistent discrimination was found on all bases in all markets. High levels of discrimination were recorded against ethnic groups, older workers, men applying to female-dominated jobs and homosexuals in labour markets. Minority applicants for housing needed to make many more enquiries to view properties. Geographical steering of African-Americans in US housing remained significant. Higher prices were quoted to minority applicants buying products. More information made no significant improvement to minority applicant outcomes. Clear evidence of statistical discrimination was found only in product markets

Short bio:

Judy Rich’s research is strongly rooted in experimental economics, especially field and natural experiments, discrimination in markets, efficiency wage theory, and occupational sex segregation. Together with Peter A. Riach, she has not only conducted several correspondence testing experiments but has also published on the ethical aspects of such field experiments and conducted various surveys. In addition to more recent work, she has published in: British Journal of Industrial Relations; the Asian Economic Journal; and Labour: Review of labour economics and industrial relations; The Economic Journal.

Recent work:

“An experimental investigation of age discrimination in hiring in the English labour market” in Annals of Economics and Statistics (2010); “Measuring discrimination: what do field experiments of markets tell us?” in Making Equality Count: Irish and International Research Measuring Equality and Discrimination (2010).


Doris Weichselbaumer

Professor for Gender and Women’s Studies, Head of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Linz

Beyond the veil: Discrimination against female migrants wearing a headscarf in Germany

This paper presents a correspondence testing experiment that examines the employment chances of female migrants in Germany, in particular of those wearing a headscarf. Applications for three fictional female characters are sent out in response to job advertisements: one for a woman with a German name, one for a woman with a Turkish name and one for a woman with a Turkish name who wears a headscarf. Germany is the ideal location for such an experiment as job seekers are expected to include their photo in their application material. The experiment finds severe discrimination particularly against the migrant woman with the headscarf. A battery of firm and job specific variables helps little to explain what drives discrimination against migrant women in Germany.

Short bio:

Prof. Weichselbaumer has widely published on various kinds of labor market discrimination, in particular discrimination in hiring and in wages. She has conducted a widely cited meta-analysis on the international gender wage gap, examined the effect of competition and equal treatment on wage differentials and analyzed the rhetoric in the economic literature on discrimination. She has extensive experience with the method of correspondence testing and applied this experimental method in a wide range of settings. In addition to recent publications, her work has appeared in Labor Economics, Journal of Economic Surveys and Economic Policy.

Recent work:

“Testing for discrimination against lesbians of different marital status. A field experiment” in Industrial Relations, forthcoming; “Does competition enhance performance or cheating? A laboratory experiment” in Journal of Economic Psychology (2010); “Market orientation and gender wage gaps: an international study” in: Kyklos (2008).

Christina Felfe

Assistant Professor at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

After-school Care and Parents Labor Supply

Does the after-school care provision promote mothers’ employment and thus help to foster gender equality in the labor supply? We address this question by exploiting variation in cantonal (state) regulations of after-school care provision in Switzerland. To establish exogeneity of cantonal regulations with respect to employment opportunities and preferences of the population, we restrict our analysis to confined regions along cantonal borders. While no impact of the after-school care provision on parents’ overall employment exists, we find a positive impact on mothers’ full-time employment.

Short bio:

Christina Felfe has focused her research on the economics of labor market, family policy, and education. The econometric consultant at the Swiss Institute of Empirical Economics Research is a member of the Bildungsökonomischer Ausschuss (Education Economic Committee) as well as the Bevölkerungsökonomischer Ausschuss (Population Economic Committee) of the Verein für Socialpolitik. In addition to recent work, she has published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Economics of Education Review and the European Review of Ageing and Physical Activity.

Recent work:

“Universal Child Care and Children’s Long-term Cognitive Development: Evidence from a Natural Experiment” in Journal of Population Economics (forthcoming); "When Does Time Matter? Maternal Employment, Children's Time with Parents and Child Development" in Demography (2014); and “The Child Penalty – What about Job Amenities?” in Labour Economics (2012).

Ghazala Azmat

Reader (tenured Associate Professor) of Economics at Queen Mary University of London and a Research Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics.

Gender Differences in Response to Big Stakes

It is commonly perceived that increasing incentives improves performance. However, the reaction to increased incentives might differ between men and women, leading to gender differences in performance. In a natural experiment, we study the gender difference in performance resulting from changes in stakes. We use detailed information on the performance of high-school students and exploit the variation in the stakes of tests, which range from 5% to 27% of the final grade. We find that female students outperform male students in all tests, but to a relatively larger degree when the stakes are low. The gender gap disappears in tests taken at the end of high school, which count for 50% of the university entry grade.

Short bio:

Her research focuses on issues relating to competition, incentives and organizational structure, as well as on topics in labor, education and public economics.

Recent work:

“The Provision of Relative Performance Feedback: An Analysis of Performance and Satisfaction” in Journal of Economics & Management Strategy (forthcoming); “The Impact of Gender Composition on Team Performance and Decision-Making: Evidence from the Field” “ in Management Science (2012); and “Targeting Fertility and Female Participation through the Income Tax” in Labour Economics (2010). Additionally, she has published in: Empirical Economics; Economica; and the Journal of Public Economics.

Dr. Philipp C. Bauer

Head of Economics and Labor Market of the Confederation of Swiss Employers

Short bio:

Dr. Philipp C. Bauer has been Head of Economics and Labor Market of the Confederation of Swiss Employers since 2014. As a member of various Federal Commissions, his responsibilities include Workplace Safety and Health Protection. During the six years preceding his current position, Philipp C. Bauer was employed by economiesuisse, the Swiss Business Federation, where he was active in the fields of General and Foreign Economic Policy. Philipp C. Bauer started his career in Risk Management for Helvetia Insurance, followed by a position as a research assistant at the University of Basel. He holds a PhD in economics, and he has been a lecturer of Labor Market and Educational Economics at the University of Lucerne since 2014.


Christa Markwalder

First Vice-President, Swiss National Council

Short bio:

Christa Markwalder graduated with a Licentiate in Jurisprudence and Certificate in Ecology at the Universities of Berne and Nijmegen (The Netherlands) in 2001. Subsequently she worked as a scientific assistant in the Department of Business Law at the University of Berne. Her main focus was European Constitutional Law. Christa Markwalder has been employed by Zürich Financial Services as a lawyer since 2008. From 1999 to her election in 2002 to the Grand Council of Bern, she was active as a young liberal in the City Council of Burgdorf. She has a seat in the National Council, of which she has been First Vice President since 2013. She has been a member of various Committees, including Foreign and Legal Affairs, and belongs to the Delegation of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU). Beside her FDP functions, Christa Markwalder presides over the New European Movement in Switzerland, the Parliamentary Group for Renewable Energy and The Parliamentary Group for Ecologically Conscious Business Conduct.