Gender Studies

Research profile of the research area "Gender Studies" at DIW Berlin

The interdisciplinary research area "Gender Studies" was founded in December 2010; it is relevant to all of the research departments of DIW Berlin. The primary aim of gender studies is to integrate the economic, social, and cultural dimensions of gender into scientific analysis and to identify and understand existing structural gender differences within society. Furthermore, it explores the social mechanisms by which these differences are produced as well as reproduced. In doing so, gender research also addresses the question of how social and cultural structures interact to shape or constrain male and female behavior differently.

One example is the gendered division of labor. The traditional division of household labor assigns different responsibilities to women and men: women are responsible for unpaid housework and childcare, whereas men, as breadwinners, are largely exempt from these duties. Institutional arrangements support this family model. The division of labor within the household generates and reinforces clichés about typically "female" and "male" personal qualities and abilities. These clichés have different effects on men and women with regard to the female and male labor supply and labor demand, career opportunities, and wages.

In December 2013, the Gender Studies research area became part of the executive department at DIW Berlin. This made DIW Berlin the first economic institute in the Leibniz Association to grant gender studies overarching importance as part of its top level of management. The Gender Studies research area seeks to integrate gender research into the work of all of the research departments at DIW Berlin. As an interdisciplinary network, it will strengthen DIW Berlin's internal, regional, national, and international cooperation in the field of economics and gender research.