Cedarbrook Notes

Comment of the Day: Shelly Lundberg: "Re question at the end...:

Shelly Lundberg: Can't disagree with [Matt Notowidigodo's] sentiment but, as others have noted, the first part of that screenshot from @delong deserves comment. Says that tenure committees are making decisions on the basis of whether you spend long hours in the office and have flexible schedules--so bad for moms.

Matt Notowidigdo: Professor @delong says exactly what I've been thinking about recently http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/07/feminism-in-the-long-20th-century-an-intake-from-slouching-towards-utopia-the-economic-history-of-the-long-20th-century.html. I agree that the "economic rise of women" is one of the most important changes in the last 100 years; it has affected almost every part of modern economic life.


Brad DeLong: & may I ask, as a favor, that you please read the whole thing, & send me comments? I am trying to get this right, and I do not think this says exactly what needs to be said... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/07/feminism-in-the-long-20th-century-an-intake-from-slouching-towards-utopia-the-economic-history-of-the-long-20th-century.html

Shelly Lundberg: Will do. As soon as I get these ref reports off.

Brad DeLong: Thx... -)

Shelly Lundberg: Re question at the end: "If you were female, would you see the demographic transition you describe so compellingly as the biggest news of the Long 20th Century?" Yes! Yes, you would!

My life is fundamentally different from my mother's and my grandmother lived in another universe. And as you say, children, work, economic dependence, the risks of childbirth—women's lives have been transformed.

What I'm missing in your transition from that historical discussion to present-day economics is more skepticism about the "institutions and practices derived under the assumption that...the labor force is male." I think that Claudia Goldin had it right in her Presidential Address https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.104.4.1091—that the final barrier to women in the workforce are the institutional structures that, in some sectors, generate high returns to long inflexible hours. Some careers (medical) have adjust far more than others (law).

We in economics should be able to figure this out. I've listened to men make allowances for each other in merit discussions for lengthy illnesses, nasty divorces, because talent and long-run prod are matters. And many have extra-economic obsessions that take time/focus. Professional reward systems aren't written in stone. Medicine and pharmacy changed in ways that increase female productivity. As academics, we have total control over the tenure/promotion process. No reason we can't be sensible about evaluating mothers and fathers.

Brad DeLong: Thx v much...