Tugba Somuncu (Iowa State University)

Tugba Somuncu (Iowa State University)

Oct 26, 2023 - 3:40 PM
to Oct 26, 2023 - 5:00 PM

Description: Job Market Practice Talk: Tugba Somuncu (Iowa State University)

Location: 368A Heady Hall

Title: Environmental Regulations, Imperfect Mobility, and the Gender Adaptation Gap 

Abstract: Is the transition to a green economy gender-neutral? The answer depends in part on how new
regulations would interact with existing gender imbalances in the market and the extent to which workers are constrained in moving to green sectors. I develop a structural economic model that conceptualizes mobility costs for female and male workers and estimates a dynamic general equilibrium of a U.S. economy in which workers can change their sector in response to an energy tax. I find that female workers face twice the mobility costs of males to change their sector while leaving the market is equally costly for both and imposes higher costs. In after-tax scenarios, differences in the long-run welfare losses across genders are driven by mobility costs. I also study a particular case of a local labor market in which coal plays a substantial role, and gender segregation is more pronounced. My empirical setting exploits variation in coal-fired power plant closure announcements. I find that in anticipation of closure, female workers in carbon-intensive sectors are disproportionately affected. Both findings contribute to understanding the disparities women face in a green transition and reveal a mechanism for disparate effects by differentiating and quantifying mobility costs.