3rd International BFH Conference on Discrimination in the Labor Market

30.08.2019, 08:30-16:30 o'clock until 31.08.2019, 09:30-12:30 o'clock – BFH, Business School, Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern

This conference brings together high level academic researchers and influential policy makers to address the challenges posed by labor market discrimination. Distinguished academics will present their latest findings on different instances of discrimination (gender-, fertility-, ethnically-based or other types of labor market discrimination). Those findings will then be addressed in a policy session, whereby policy makers and other individuals with the ability to influence the implementation of actual policies will discuss concrete ways to eradicate discrimination.

Policy Session

Policy Session "The Financing of Early Education and the Labor Market Participation of Women", 30 August, 16.30 – 18.00 followed by an Apéro, Admission free.


  • Start date 30.08.2019, 08:30-16:30 o'clock
  • End date 31.08.2019, 09:30-12:30 o'clock
  • Place BFH, Business School, Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern
  • Costs CHF 100.- / free for participants related to academia

Conference Manager

Program Chairs


08:30 Ana Fernandes
Ingrid Kissling
Herbert Binggeli

Welcome Remarks

Session 1: Fertility Discrimination

08:45 Doris Weichselbaumer
University of Linz

Discrimination in Hiring Based on Potential and Realized Motherhood

09:45 Coffeebreak

Session 2: Social Norms and Culture

10:00 Ana Rute Cardoso
Institute for Economic Analysis
and Graduate School
Economics, Barcelona

Can Economic Pressure Overcome Social Norms? The
Case of Female Labor Force Participation

10:50 Matilde Machado
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The Role of Mothers on Female Labor Force Participation: An Approach Using Historical Parish Records

11:40 Dan-Olof Rooth
Stockholm university

Making Gender Attitudes Change - The Effect of Random
Allocation of Women to Male Teams

12:30 Lunch

Session 3: Experiments

13:20 Carmit Segal
University of Zurich

Does Workplace Competition Increase Labor Supply?
Evidence from a Field Experiment

14:10 Ana Fernandes
Berner Fachhochschule

The Effects of Gender and Parental Occupation in the
Apprenticeship Market: An Experimental Evaluation

15:00 Coffeebreak

Session 4: Plenary Session – Raquel Fernández (NYU)

15:20 Coming Out in America: AIDS, Politics, and Cultural Change
16:20 Coffeebreak

Session 5: POLICY SESSION – The Financing of Early Education and the Labor Market Participation of


Sylvie Durrer, Head of Federal Office for Gender
Irenka Krone, Co-Founder and Director of the
Association PTO, Co-Founder of We Jobshare Sàrl
Claudine Esseiva, MP City of Bern, Liberal Party


Apero / Close
20:00 Dinner

Session 6: Gender and Development

09:30 Michèle Tertilt
University of Mannheim

Female Empowerment in Developing Countries

10:20 Coffeebreak

Session 7: Labor Market Policies

10:45 Martin Huber
University of Fribourg

From Homemakers to Employees? How Mandatory
Kindergarten affects Mothers’ Labor Supply in Switzerland

11:35 Andrea Weber
Central European University

Female Leadership and Gender Gap within Firms: Evidence
from an Italian Board Reform

12:25 Lunch

Optional: Guided Tour through historic Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Impressions from the event

Sponsor and Scientific Partner


Raquel Fernández


Professor of Economics, New York University

Raquel Fernández received her PhD from Columbia University, in 1988.  Since then, she has held positions at Boston University, New York University, the University of Oslo, the London School of Economics, and is now at New York University. Her research interests are varied, focusing on topics such as the reasons behind financial crisis and their impact on the accumulation of human capital, the role of culture on fertility and female labor force participation, as well as the gender wage gap. Professor Fernández has given invited lectures across the globe.  She is an extremely prolific author with a systematic presence in the highest ranked journals in economics as well as a member of distinguished research organizations.

Recent Work:

“Divorce Risk, Wages and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis of Female Labour Force Participation” The Economic Journal (2014); “Cultural Change as Learning: The Evolution of Female Labor Force Participation Over a Century” American Economic Review (2013)

Andrea Weber

Carmit Segal

Professor of Economics, Central European University

Andrea Weber is professor of economics at the Central European University and a guest professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Her previous positions include a professorship in economics at the University of Mannheim, a research position at RWI Essen, and a visiting assistant professorship at the University of California at Berkeley. She received her PhD at the Technical University of Vienna in 2002 and a habilitation degree from the University of Linz in 2008.  Her research areas are labor economics and applied micro-econometrics. Her work focuses on the role of institutions and labor market policies on individual labor supply decisions, gender differences in the labor market, the effects of economic shocks such as job displacement on individual outcomes. Andrea Weber’s research has been published in Econometrica, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, and American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings among others.  

Recent Work:

"What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations." (with David Card and Jochen Kluve), Journal of the European Economic Association, 2018; "Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Improve Job Quality?" (with Arash Nekoei), American Economic Review, 2017

Michèle Tertilt

Michèle Tertilt
Photografer Ana Logue

Professor at the University of Mannheim

Michèle Tertilt is a Professor of Economics at the University of Mannheim. Prior to joining the University of Mannheim, Michèle Tertilt was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. She is the first woman to win the Gossenpreis awarded by the Verein für Socialpolitik and was awarded the Yrjö Jahnsson Award in March 2017. Currently, she also is a member of the editorial board at the Review of Economic Studies.  Her work has appeared in Econometrica, the Review of Economic Studies, the American Economic Review, and the Journal of Political Economy, among others. Her research interests combine macro with family economics. Much of her work has analyzed the importance of family dynamics for economic development - such as the link between polygyny and poverty in Africa or the historical evolution of women's rights and its connection to economic growth in the US and the UK.

Recent work:

"An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic", Econometrica, forthcoming; "Women's Empowerment, the Gender Gap in Desired Fertility, and Fertility Outcomes in Developing Countries", American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (2018); "Women's Liberation: What's in it for Men?", Quarterly Journal of Economics (2009).

Dan-Olof Rooth

Dan-Olof Rooth

Professor of Economics, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University

Short bio:

Professor Rooth received his Ph.D. in Economics from Lund University in 1999. Currently he is a professor at the Swedish institute for social research (SOFI) at Stockholm University. His research interests include topics in labor economics, education, migration, health economics and political economy. He has published in the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Economic Journal, Journal of Human Resources and many other outlets.

Recent work:

"Birth Weight in the Long Run" Journal of Human Resources (2018);
"Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment" American Economic Review (2014)

Ana Rute Cardoso

Ana Rute Cardoso

Associate Research Professor, Institute for Economic Analysis, Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (IAE-CSIC)
Affiliated Professor, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE)

Short bio:

She holds a Ph.D. from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, where she was awarded the prize for the Best Thesis in Economics defended 1995-1998. She worked at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA Bonn) as a Research Associate from 2002 to 2008 and before she served as Associate Professor at the University of Minho in Portugal. Her main research interests lie in labor economics and economics of inequality, in particular earnings dispersion and mobility, employer behavior, and the impact of labor market institutions and regulations. Her work appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of the European Economic Association, among others.

Recent work:

"Bargaining, sorting and the gender wage gap: Quantifying the impact of firms on the relative pay of women", Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(2) (May 2016): 633-686 (co-authorship: David Card, Ana Rute Cardoso, and Patrick Kline)
"Firms and labor market inequality: Evidence and some theory", Journal of Labor Economics, 36(S1) (January 2018): S13-S70 (co-authorship: David Card, Ana Rute Cardoso, Joerg Heining, and Patrick Kline)

Martin Huber

Martin Huber

Professor of Applied Econometrics – Evaluation of Public Policies, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Short bio:

Prof. Huber received his Ph.D. in Economics and Finance (specialization: econometrics) from the University of St. Gallen in 2010. He became Professor of Applied Econometrics - Evaluation of Public Policies at the University of Fribourg in 2014. His research focuses on the evaluation of policy interventions and comprises both methodological contributions as well as empirical applications, predominantly in the fields of labor, health and education economics. Part of his current research agenda are methodological improvements in the analysis of gender wage gaps. Prof. Huber has published in a range of scientific journals such as the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society B, the Journal of Econometrics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the Journal of Health Economics, and others. He has also participated in third party-funded scientific projects evaluating policy interventions in labor markets and welfare systems.

Recent work:

“Why do tougher caseworkers increase employment? The role of programme assignment as a causal mechanism” Review of Economics and Statistics (2017); “The Effect of Firms' Partial Retirement Policies on the Labour Market Outcomes of their Employees” Industrial and Labor Relations Review (2016); “Causal pitfalls in the decomposition of wage gaps” Journal of Business and Economic Statistics (2015).

Matilde Pinto Machado

M. Pinto Machado

Associate Professor, Department of Economics of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

She holds a PhD in Economics from Boston University. Her main research area is Health Economics although she has also worked in Industrial Organization, Labor and Gender Economics. Her research has been published in the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of the European Economic Association, the International Economic Review and the Journal of Econometrics among others. Recently, she was the President of COSME, the subcommittee of the Spanish Economic Association in “charge of evaluating and promoting the situation of women in the Economics profession”.

Recent Work:

“Can We Infer Hospital Quality from Medical Graduates’ Residency Choices?” in Journal of the European Economic Association (2012);  “The Impact of a Permanent Income Shock on the Situation of Women in the Household: the case of a pension reform in Argentina” in Economic Development and Cultural Change, forthcoming.

Carmit Segal

Carmit Segal

Professor of Managerial Economics at the University of Zurich

Short bio:

Professor Segal received her PhD in Economics from Stanford University in 2005. Her research  focuses on measurement and importance of skills and gender using both empirical and experimental methods.

Recent publications:

“Do Female Officers Improve Law Enforcement Quality? Effects on Crime Reporting and Domestic Violence” (forthcoming) The Review of Economics Studies.
“How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness” (2013) Management Science

Doris Weichselbaumer

Doris Weichselbaumer

Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Department of Economics, University of Linz

Short bio:

Prof. Weichselbaumer has 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:

Multiple Discrimination against Female Immigrants Wearing Headscarves, in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Volume forthcoming.  "Discrimination against migrants in Austria. An experimental study" in German Economic Review (2017)

Ana Fernandes

Ana Fernandes

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

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).