Seminar Series

Seminar Series 2022-23
Colorado College Economics & Business Department
Supported by the H. Chase Stone Memorial Lecture Fund



March Agenda

March 13 | 1:00 - 1:30 PM
Drought Impacts on Crop Acres and Yield Throughout the Production Cycle

By Erin Sumner
Drought is a major cause of agricultural production loss, impacting both yield and acres of crop production. However, previous studies on drought mostly focus on yield and overlook production decisions on crop acres. To address this gap, we study corn and soybean production in U.S. counties from 2001 to 2019, examining drought impacts on planned planting acres, prevented planting, and crop abandonment in addition to yield. Results indicate that 23.5% (32.0%) of drought impacts on corn (soybeans) production can be attributed to the net effect of decisions on acres. Moreover, drought affects production throughout the crop year, not just in the growing season. Specifications that omit pre-season and planting season drought underestimate the adverse impacts of growing season drought on yield and production by 3X% and 2X% (3X% and 2X%) for corn (soybeans), respectively, due to temporal correlations in drought conditions.

March 13 | 1:30 - 2:00 PM
Who pays for the snow day? Gender differences and the parent penalty
By Jessica Hoel 
The gender gap in earnings remains large in the United States and Europe.  The gap emerges after the birth of the first child, meaning that becoming a parent has negative earning implications for women but not men.  Research to explore potential mechanisms has focused on the role of long-term absences from work to care for children (e.g., parental leave), while relatively little attention has been paid to the effect of short-term work absences due to childcare interruptions (e.g., a snow day or a child needing to stay home from school because they’re sick).  In this paper, we study if employers penalize men and women differently for short work absences due to childcare interruptions and if workers correctly anticipate the degree and form of employer discrimination. Using an online experiment, we find that workers anticipate that employers will pay women less than men when their work history is not revealed. When work history is revealed, workers expect that employers will penalize men for absences more harshly than women. By contrast, we find little evidence of gender discrimination by employers when no work history is revealed, and find that employers actually penalize women for absences more harshly than men. Our findings both justify why heterosexual parents arrange their lives the way they do, and also suggest that families would be better off if childcare disruptions were shared more equally.

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