Why women earn less? Why houses are so expensive now but weren't for our parents? ... and more!

More insights about inequality, the future of work, self-control, football, and the brain

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🌐 Macrofacts / 💵 Economics / 🚻 Gender Gaps | 👨‍👩‍👦 Parenting

Mothers on avg reduce their earnings by 25% or more after 10 years of having a child, while men’s earnings remains pretty much the same.

This fact seems pretty consistent in 2 different studies released this year by the Bank of Spain (chart above) and a paper with US data (chart below).

The trend doesn't change much for those women with a college degree, although the effect seems lower.

Why? Most women reduce their working hours drastically after having children. Many of them start working part-time, even if they have a college degree (21% of women vs. 5% of men). Is this a preference, or they feel forced by cultural norms or their husbands? I am afraid this data can’t answer that question.

Paradoxically, there are now more educated and highly skilled women in the job market than men, and they make more money than men before having children.

I will look for data about if men are starting to reduce their working hours and going for part-time jobs after becoming fathers in some countries and if women are starting to prioritize their careers over their families.

🔗 Source: Bank of Spain. The Child Penalty in Spain. (July 2020) & Children and the Remaining Gender Gaps in the Labor Market (October 2020)


🌐 Macrofacts / 💵 Economics / 🎩 Good Old Days / 🏡 Housing

Housing was much more affordable in the 90s than since the 2000s in Spain and the UK.

When I tweeted about it, Arturo Herrero and Javi López mentioned this page: wtfhappenedin1971.com, where they show dozens of charts trying to prove the effect on inflation since 1971, when Richard Nixon canceled the Bretton Woods agreements, the end of the dollar's convertibility to gold. From that moment, all national currencies stopped having an anchor. Fiat currencies could be created without limits!

Apparently, that change created inflation; banks started enjoying low-interest rates. From that moment, banks could offer long and expensive mortgages, housing prices increased, and real wages stop increasing as much as they used to grow decades before. But, since my macroeconomics knowledge is minimal, I am not so sure how accurate this interpretation is… :P

Another hypothesis I heard, is that housing is not affordable for most people because big cities, like Madrid or London, have increased their population rapidly in the last decades. Everybody wants to live in these cities, right in the city center, making these prices way more expensive and changing the entire territory's avg medians.


🌐 Macrofacts / 💵 Economics / 💅 Inequality

The middle class traveled significantly more this Summer during the pandemic in Spain than the low-income households; most of them stayed at home these holidays.

Another good example of big data from anonymized mobile phones from telco companies. Personal income was inferred from census data. The median income in Spain is around 26K, so I wouldn’t call (as the journalist does) “rich people” to those making above 25K…

🔗 Source: Trabajo: Los pobres se mueven por trabajo y los ricos por ocio: así nos desplazamos en 2020


🌐 Macrofacts / 💵 Economics / 🦾 Future of Work

Jobs involving routine tasks are not growing since the 90s when Nonroutine Cognitive jobs started to explode. Nonroutine manual jobs, like elderly care, keep growing and don't look like they will be significantly affected by automation and AI soon.

🔗 Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis


🤔 Unconscious Behavioral / ⚽️ Football

Very impressive effect of COVID-19 on the "home advantage" in football. When playing in an empty stadium, the advantage of the home team drops by 50%.

Research tends to suggest a large part of this effect is due to the influence of home crowds on referees' decisions. (Alone against the crowd: Individual differences in referees’ ability to cope under pressure) Though crowds may also impact players' behavior.

🔗 Source Animal Spirits in the Beautiful Game. Testing social pressure in professional football during the COVID-19 lockdown


🤔 Unconscious Behavioral / 🤳 Self-Control

Sitting next to a friend at a manufacturing job reduces productivity by 6%.

I am curious about how remote working will affect the productivity of people who were very sociable at the office. From this data, we could infer they might be more productive from home, but who knows, maybe they socialize more ineffectively on social medial, checking Instagram or chatting more on Slack…. and chances are these facts from this paper are only true for this type of worker in Manufacturing.

🔗 Source: Socializing at Work: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Manufacturing Workers


🏥 Health / 🧠 Neurology

What you see on the left is a normal brain, on the right is what is known as "Hydrocephalus", that is, instead of having brain mass (neurons and co), there is cerebrospinal fluid. That person is alive and fully functional with a head full of water! In fact, is not strange to find people with this condition with a high IQ.

🔗 Source: Science (1980): Is really our brain necessary? and this Twitter thread