Meza Cuadra, Claudia
Available for interviews at
European Job Market for Economists (EEA)
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)
Applied Microeconomics. Labour Economics. Gender Economics.
Libertad González (Advisor) [email protected]
"Videogames and the Gender Gap in Computer Science" (Job Market Paper)
In contrast to other STEM fields, over the last thirty years computer science has grown increasingly male-dominated. Using large-scale US survey data on field of education and occupation as well as data on computer and videogame playing from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, I study the effect of the spread of videogames on the widening of the gender gap in computer science. Using two-way fixed effects regressions exploiting variation in the spread of videogames by birth state and cohort, I find that for men, greater exposure to videogames when young is associated with (1) an increased probability of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science and (2) an increased probability of working in a computer-related occupation. For those who obtain a bachelor’s degree, a 20% increase in the spread of videogames in their cohort (while teenagers) is associated with a 10% increase in the gender gap in the probability of studying computer science, and a 14% increase in the gender gap in the probability of working in a related field. To address potential endogeneity, I instrument for videogame exposure using the early prevalence of videogame arcades by state combined with national sales of games released each year. The IV analysis confirms the results, suggesting that videogame exposure may be an important driver of the gender gap in computer science, and providing additional evidence of the long-term role of non-academic activities during childhood on education and career choices and outcomes.
"On the long-term effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on the allocation of time within households" (with L. Farré and L. González)
We use real-time data collected from a national representative sample of households in May 2020 and May 2022 to estimate the long-term effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on the distribution of paid and unpaid work within households. Two years after the outbreak of the virus, we observe a reduction in the gender gap in total hours worked. Time devoted to paid work by both men and women has returned to pre-lockdown levels. In contrast, we observe a significant reduction in the gender gap in unpaid work. This reduction is driven by an increase in the weekly hours that men devote to childcare and a decrease in those devoted by women. Our preliminary results indicate that the higher exposure of men to the family burden during the lockdown resulting from the unexpected labor demand shock that forced many men to stay at home may be responsible for the reduction in the gender gap in childcare time.