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The Origen of Gender Inequality: Nurture vs. Nature and Quantifying Gender Preference

The Origen of Gender Inequality: Nurture vs. Nature and Quantifying Gender Preference


Women continue to earn significantly less than men. This is true even in Scandinavia, a region long considered a forerunner in offering better opportunities for women to balance career and family. However, in recent decades progress towards gender equality has been slow. This has intrigued researchers and motivated public policies, such as gender quotas on corporate boards and parental leave earmarked to men, as in the recent EU proposal on work-life balance for parents and carers.

In the past, a significant part of the gender pay gap could be explained by differences in human capital and discriminatory wage policies, but the reduction of gender differences in education and the implementation of anti-discrimination policies have not removed the pay gap. This calls for further knowledge in order to aid attempts to close the gap. A recent literature highlights the influence of gender identity and norms in shaping the gender pay gap.

In ORIGENDER, I aim to advance our knowledge of the role of gender norms in shaping the gender pay gap by answering two key questions: 1) Why are gender roles on the labour market still so traditional, particularly in families with children? 2) Can we quantify how much individuals value traditional gender roles? The answers are both academically interesting and key to the design of public policy.

A MSCA GF will give me the possibility to answer these questions by combining the skills and knowledge of two vibrant research environments: Prof. Henrik Kleven’s research group at Princeton University, and the Center of Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI) at the University of Copenhagen. Both institutions employ world-leading economists in the areas of public policy and causal identification using (big) data and, via CEBI, I will have a secure link to the unique Danish data infrastructure and population wide administrative data, enabling me to make significant leaps in our understanding compared to existing literature.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries




Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 198 288,96

Partners (1)

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Project information

Grant agreement ID: 841969


Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 August 2019

  • End date

    31 July 2021

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 198 288,96

  • EU contribution

    € 198 288,96

Coordinated by: