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Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

10:00 | Economics Discovery Hub

Talking Economics with Martina Miotto and Andreas Menzel

Talking Economics is a live-streamed public lecture series with CERGE-EI's researchers introducing their latest work.

This time we will focus on Experiments and Development Economics with Andreas Menzel (Gender Wage Gaps in Export Manufacturing Sectors: Evidence From Bangladesh) and Martina Miotto.

Register by filling this form and join us in the Digital Media Center at CERGE-EI or online on Tuesday, 25 February 2020 at 10:00.

Andreas Menzel: Gender Gaps in Export Manufacturing Sectors: Evidence From Bangladesh
Download the presentation here.

Martina Miotto: Menstrual Health Management and Worker Productivity in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector 
Download the presentation here.

Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of garments to rich countries. Four million workers are employed in around 4,000 factories to produce clothes for almost all major international brands. Research has shown that garment export is good for poor countries, as it creates large numbers of stable jobs for the very poor. But three out of every four workers in the sector in Bangladesh are women, and they earn less than their male colleagues in the sector, mainly because they do not have the same access to better-paid positions in the factories, such as specialized workers or supervisors. In several projects, we explored the reasons for this discrepancy. We modeled careers in the sector and found that one important reason why men make faster careers is that they move more often between factories, exploring opportunities to enter better-paid positions. Then, we ran a field experiment together with 24 large factories in which the factories committed to promoting an equal number of male and female workers to new supervisor positions for half a year. Our results indicate that the workers do not treat new male and female supervisors the same, so the female supervisors have to overcome larger hurdles to be effective in the new job. Meanwhile, in a separate, and still ongoing, project, we study whether female garment workers have a disadvantage due to a health aspect that only affects them: menstrual health. Specifically, we studied the effects of an NGO campaign that educated female garment workers on the importance of hygienic menstrual health care and distributed free menstrual health products in the work-place. Initial results indicate that it reduced worker absenteeism and increased awareness about the importance of hygienic menstrual health care.