Prof. Dr. Ana Fernandes
Prof. Dr. Ana Fernandes Dozentin
Institut New Work
Research on Labor Markets, Gender, Policy, Development
Economics 1, 3 (Microeconomics)
Labor markets, gender, discrimination, experiemental economics
Identify reasons why the labor market paths of different groups in the population often strongly diverge (e.g. mothers/fathers, majority/minority)
- Since 2012 Professor Bern University of Applied Sciences
- Since 2013 Lecturer University of Fribourg
- 2005 - 2012 Assistant Professor University of Bern, Department of Economics
- 2004 - 2005 Visting Professor Stern School of Business, New York, USA
- 1994-1999 PhD and MA in Economics University of Chicago
- Referee for economics journals such as The Manchester School, Empirical Economics, European Economic Review, Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics
- External reviewer for the Swiss National Science Foundation
GirlTech -- This project aims to create a framework for interventions/experiments to identify whether technological attributes (in e.g. robots) result in differential levels of engagement between girls and boys. The experiments shall be carried out with pre-teens, possibly in schools. In particular, different interactions with robots (cooperation, competition, aesthetics) shall be investigated as to their influence in the degree of engagement of girls versus boys.
Gender Occupational Segregation in the Swiss Apprenticeship Market -- Gender occupational segregation is a known phenomenon in the labor market. We investigate whether employers contribute to this segregation by rejecting apprenticehips applicants whose gender differs from that of the typical worker. In collaboration with Prof. Dr. Martin Huber, University of Fribourg (Switzerland). Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Fertility Discrimination in Hiring in the German Speaking Labor Market -- In order to identify the effect of potential fertility and other child related costs on employers’ hiring decisions, a Correspondence Testing experiment is conducted. In the latter, résumés of applicants that are matched in all relevant qualifications, like schooling or job experience, but which differ with respect to their demographic characteristics, are sent out in response to job advertisements. Different response rates across candidates are considered discrimination. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Reducing Work After Childbirth: A causal estimate of long-run lost income (with Debra Hevenstone) -- Using linked administrative data, we investigate the loss of income associated with fertility by comparing across individuals experiencing quasi-exogenous income shocks during pregnancy or shortly after the birth of the first child. This project is funded by a Spark grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (Debra Hevenstone is the leading researcher).
Becker, Sascha O.; Fernandes, Ana and Doris Weichselbaumer (2019) “Discrimination in Hiring Based on Potential and Realized Fertility: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment” Labor Economics 59
Due to conventional gender norms, women are more likely to be in charge of childcare than men. From an employer's perspective, in their fertile age they are also at “risk” of pregnancy. Both factors potentially affect hiring practices of firms. We conduct a large-scale correspondence test in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, sending out approx. 9000 job applications, varying job candidate's personal characteristics such as marital status and age of children. We find evidence that, for part-time jobs, married women with older kids, who likely finished their childbearing cycle and have more projectable childcare chores than women with very young kids, are at a significant advantage vis-à-vis other groups of women. At the same time, married, but childless applicants, who have a higher likelihood to become pregnant, are at a disadvantage compared to single, but childless applicants to part-time jobs. Such effects are not present for full-time jobs presumably because, by applying to these in contrast to part-time jobs, women signal that they have arranged for external childcare.
We investigate the role of financial constraints for product market competition in a general equilibrium model, where firms may differ in terms of own wealth and/or efficiency. We find that, in general, the amelioration of financial constraints increases competition (it lowers the Lerner index of markups) in financially dependent sectors even when other standard concentration indexes indicate otherwise. Our analysis implies that disruptions in financial markets – such as the recent financial crisis – may have adverse effects on competition in product markets, a cost that has not been identified before.
Fernandes, Ana (2012) “A Closed-Form Solution to a Model of Two-Sided, Partial Altruism” Macroeconomic Dynamics 16, 230-239
This paper presents a closed-form characterization of the allocation of resources in an overlapping generations model of two-sided, partial altruism. Three assumptions are made: (i) parents and children play Markov strategies, (ii) utility takes the CRRA form, and (iii) the income of children is stochastic but proportional to the saving of parents. In families where children are rich relative to their parents, saving rates—measured as a function of the family's total resources—are higher than when children are poor relative to their parents. Income redistribution from the old to the young, therefore, leads to an increase in aggregate saving.
Fernandes, Ana (2011) “Altruism, Labor Supply and Redistributive Neutrality” Journal of Population Economics 24, 1443-1469
This paper presents a model of familial altruism in which labor supply is chosen endogenously. The model is used to address the predictions of Ricardian Equivalence, both theoretical and empirical. It is argued that, to the extent that income variation in the data comes mostly from wage and effort changes, the empirical tests of neutrality are misspecified. Numerical estimates suggest that quantitatively important deviations from neutrality may be at work.
Becker, Sascha O.; Bentolila, Samuel; Fernandes, Ana and Andrea Ichino (2010) “Youth Emancipation and Perceived Job Insecurity of Parents and Children” Journal of Population Economics 23
We test whether job insecurity of parents and children affect children’s moving-out decisions. Macroeconomic estimates for 13 European countries over 1983–2004 show that coresidence increases by 1.7 percentage points (PP) following a 10 PP rise in the share of youths perceiving their job to be insecure and declines by 1.1 PP following the same increment in insecurity for older workers. Microeconometric evidence for Italy in the mid-1990s shows that the probability of moving out increases by about half a percentage point for a one-standard-deviation increase in paternal insecurity and by one-third of a percentage point for a one-standard-deviation decrease in children’s insecurity.
Fernandes, Ana; Becker, Sascha O.; Bentolila, Samuel and Andrea Ichino (2008) “Income Insecurity and Youth Emancipation: A Theoretical Approach” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy 8 (Cont)
In this paper, we propose a theoretical model to study the effect of income insecurity of parents and offspring on the child’s residential choice. Parents are partially altruistic toward their children and will provide financial help to an independent child when her income is low relative to the parents’. We find that children of more altruistic parents are more likely to become independent. However, first-order stochastic dominance (FOSD) shifts in the distribution of the child’s future income (or her parents’) have ambiguous effects on the child’s residential choice. Parental altruism is the very source of ambiguity in the results. If parents are selfish or the joint income distribution of parents and child places no mass on the region where transfers are provided, a FOSD shift in the distribution of the child’s (parents’) future income will reduce (raise) the child’s current income threshold for independence.
Fernandes, Ana and Krishna Kumar (2007) “Inappropriate Technology” Macroeconomic Dynamics 11, 487-518
In this paper, we investigate incentives, other than altruism, that developed countries have for improving developing country technologies. We propose a simple model of international trade between two regions, in which individuals have preferences over an inferior good and a luxury good. The poor region has a comparative advantage in the production of the inferior good. Even when costly adaptation of the technology to the poor region's characteristics is required—making the technology inappropriate for local use—there are parameter configurations for which the rich region has an incentive to incur this cost. It benefits from a terms-of-trade improvement and from greater specialization in the luxury good. Indeed, there are cases where the rich region would prefer to improve the poor region's technology for producing the inferior good rather than its own. We apply our model to the Green Revolution and provide a quantitative assessment of its welfare effects.
Fernandes, Ana and Christopher Phelan (2000) “A Recursive Formulation for Repeated Agency with History Dependence” Journal of Economic Theory 91(2): 223-247
We present general recursive methods to handle environments where privately observed variables are linked over time. We show that incentive compatible contracts are implemented recursively with a threat keeping constraint in addition to the usual temporary incentive compatibility and promise keeping conditions.
Reducing Work After Childbirth: A causal estimate of long-run lost income
Grants for the organization of each of the three editions of the academic and policy conference "International BFH Conference on Discrimination in the Labor Market