Twenty / Monopsony in the Labor Market, and a Decline in Women's Employment

In this edition, read an explainer on the labor demand and supply in a monopsonistic labor market. Then, a report on gendered impacts on unemployment trends in the United States during the pandemic.


This Week's Article

Monopsony in the Labor Market

Remember playing the board game - monopoly - with your friends or family on that long weekend afternoon. Everyone has had such an experience, at some point in their lives, most likely during the pandemic-induced lockdown. Some played to collect more and more properties, reach Broadwalk or Mayfair - the most expensive properties (in USA and UK version, respectively) on the board, and build houses and hotels along the squared path. Others discovered the art of managing assets, rents, mortgages, and loans, to eventually emerge as a monopolist. 

Monopsony lies on the other extreme of the spectrum of distribution of market power. While monopoly has a single seller controlling the market, monopsony has a sole, powerful buyer. There are unlimited buyers in the former, whereas countless sellers in the latter. 

To read the full version, click on the link below. 

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What are we Reading?

How Have U.S. Working Women Fared During the Pandemic?(Jonathan Rothwell and Lydia Saad, 2020)

This International Women's Day, as we celebrated the glorious achievements of women over the years, the pandemic seems to set these trends in reverse gear. A story by Gallup, reported on March 8, revealed that women faced a higher share of job losses than men did in the past year. 

"The gap in labor force changes amounts to roughly 493,000 more women than men being absent from the labor force since the pandemic began. This is the difference between the roughly 2.3 million women missing from the U.S. workforce as of February 2021, compared with about 1.8 million men."

If a country as developed as the United States faced such a magnitude of gender inequity in job losses, the same must have been more prominent in the case of low-income and developing countries. Reasons like the disruption of retail and low-paying jobs, which otherwise employed women, and women's role in caregiving within the family cause such gender-disproportionate unemployment trends. 

The article, which indeed is a good read, scoops further into the cause and effect behind such tendencies, which are not anew to the pandemic.


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