Skip to main content

CEU Economic Seminar Series: Continuous Gender Identity and Economic Decision Making

Roberto Weber
Tuesday, October 3, 2023, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm

With: Anne Ardila Brenøe, Lea Heursen, Eva Ranehill


Economic research on gender gaps in preferences and economic outcomes
has identified gaps with respect to sex—a binary classification as
either a “man” or “woman.” We investigate the value of incorporating a
continuous measure of self-reported gender identity into economics by
exploring whether gender identity correlates with variation in
economic decisions and outcomes beyond the explanatory power of binary
sex. We validate a novel and simple measure of continuous gender
identity (CGI) that correlates with measures used in gender research
outside economics. We employ this validated measure in five datasets
(N=8,213) measuring several dimensions of economic preferences and
educational and labor market outcomes. Our results yield mixed
evidence that CGI correlates with economic behaviors and outcomes when
accounting for binary sex: CGI has little relationship with
incentivized preference measures, but is correlated with a number of
unincentivized preference measures and with educational choices and
labor market outcomes that are stereotypically associated with
females. Our results suggest that incorporating self-reported measures
of gender identity may have some value for understanding economic
behaviors and for targeting policy.