ECON 3709 – Introduction to the Economics of Gender

| November 24, 2016

ECON 3709 – Introduction to the Economics
of Gender
Department of Economics, York University
Instructions for Paper
Instructor: Prof. Berta Esteve-Volart
September 2015
The paper should be a complement to the lectures and the topics we see in
the lectures. Your paper cannot be about the topics that we see in class/our
lectures. It should be a research paper, so I want you to start fresh with it
– a question to which you do not know the answer. The paper should not
be descriptive, but rather have more creative content. That is, it is not an
essay. Originality counts.
In order to know which topics are not suitable as paper topic, have a look
at the Syllabus I have posted on Moodle. The syllabus lists the topics we are
going to cover, with the corresponding readings. If the topics and readings
sound like what you have in mind, it cannot be used as paper topic. Please
always agree on a topic with me before you start working on it.
Focus on a topic with gender interest that might catch your attention.
You can use data if you wish, but technical analysis is not expected. Think
about areas/topics where gender matters, even if it is not in conventional economic situations—however, the topic should be analyzed from an economics
point of view (i.e., using economic intuition, economics tools).
A good way of thinking of potential topics is to think about real-life issues
in which you see men and women behaving di↵erently. Why is that the case?
You are not expected to come up with a complex answer, but you should

think of potential answers. Are incentives women and men face di↵erent? If
so, how?
You can discuss a certain policy introduced by a government in relation
to gender, and discuss how it could have a↵ected women/men di↵erently.
You can also get ideas from newspaper articles.
Your topic cannot be in the course material itself, but you are welcome to
use the concepts we use during the course in your paper. For instance, you
cannot choose the wage gender gap as a topic, but you can use the concepts
of discrimination we see in class for your topic whenever relevant.
Every student should work on a di↵erent topic. If a topic has already
been chosen by another student I will let you know.
Topic examples
Examples from the past:
1) are women more risk averse when it comes to investing, and why?
2) why is the role of women in religion di↵erent across religions/congregations?
3) are there gender di↵erences in chess playing, and if so, why?
(Note: these examples cannot be chosen as topics.)
Extension and format
Keep in mind that the paper should not be descriptive. It should be
about three to four pages in 1.5 spaces. Absolute maximum, five pages.
Think quality rather than quantity.
Other format details are your choice.
The number of references used in the paper is irrelevant, but if you refer
to studies or data please cite them using a reference list at the end of the
paper. The references page does not count towards extension.
Deadline for topic agreement
We should have agreed on your topic by October 13. I will help you
and guide you to choose a good topic. I will reject topics that have been
already chosen by another student, are too close to the course material, or
that I think will not lead to a paper of su cient quality. Please do not be
discouraged if I ask you to keep thinking of topics. Also, because students
often think of similar topics, there is an advantage to coming up with your
topic early in the course, so it is not taken yet.

To discuss topics with me, you can 1) send me an email listing any ideas
you have and/or 2) come to see me during o ce hours to discuss topics.
Deadline for paper submission
Last day of class.


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