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This paper analyzes the relationship between fiscal and structural policies and gender inequality in education and labor force Women seeking men Yangyang mb for countries at different stages of development. Due to the substantial of possible factors that link with gender inequality ly highlighted in the literature, we pay particular attention to addressing model uncertainty and using various statistical methods to find the variables with the strongest links to gender gaps. We find that higher public spending on education, better sanitation facilities, low adolescent fertility, and narrower marriage age gaps are ificantly related to narrower gender gaps in education.
We also find that better infrastructure, a stronger institutional environment, more equal legal rights, and low adolescent fertility rates are strongly associated with higher female labor force participation. When labor market protection is low, an increase in protection is associated with a narrowing of labor force participation gaps between men and women. But when labor market protection levels are high, an increase in protection is associated with a widening in labor force participation gaps.
Despite progress of the recent decades, gender gaps in various areas of economic opportunities and outcomes remain, with ificant macroeconomic consequences. Indeed, vast empirical evidence exists to show that ificant macroeconomic gains can be realized when women are able to develop their Women seeking men Yangyang mb labor market potential Elborgh-Woytek and othersCuberes and Teignier ; Kochhar, Jain-Chandra and Newiak, What can policymakers do, then, to promote gender equality in economic empowerment?
Building on evidence from numerous microeconomic and macroeconomic studies, this paper conducts an empirical analysis based on macroeconomic data to estimate the impact of fiscal and structural policies on gender inequality in a sample of countries from to Our study focuses in particular on policies that could address gender gaps in labor force participation and educational opportunities for women, as measured by years of schooling and years in tertiary education.
Realizing that there is no silver-bullet for policies to take effect across all income levels, we also examine whether certain policies are more critical in emerging markets and low-income countries LICs than in advanced economies. The novelty of our paper is that it applies Bayesian Model Averaging BMA to identify the most fundamental and robust factors that link to gender inequality. Against the background of the large of potential determinants of gender inequality suggested in the literature, this methodology helps address model uncertainty as part of the statistical methodology Fernandez and others ; Sala-i-Martin ; Paorgiou and Masanjala BMA is well established in the growth literature to address the complications posed by the fact that a vast of determinants have been proposed to explain real GDP per capita growth for instance, Durlauf and others surveyed determinants of economic growth.
Bayesian model averaging has also been used to introduce new development determinants into the literature Eicher and Newiak While the of suggested drivers of gender equality in the literature is large, no other paper has yet addressed model uncertainty to the best of our knowledge. The of our paper should be read as robust associations between gender equality and certain factors, rather than necessarily as causal relationships.
Policies to narrow gender gaps in education. Good sanitation facilities, as highlighted in UNESCOare strongly associated with a narrower education gap between males and females in emerging markets and low-income economies. This finding—already emphasized in case studies and other micro level analysis e.
Low adolescent fertility, a narrower marriage age gap to proxy cultural norms and under-age marriage and public spending on education are also linked to lower gender gaps in education. Policies to narrow gender gaps in labor force participation. Improvements in infrastructure such as electricity, better access to water, and improved sanitation facilitiesstronger legal rights for females, low adolescent fertility, a narrower marriage age gap and a stronger institutional environment as measured by the corruption index strongly relate to higher female labor force participation and narrower gender gaps in labor force participation.
This paper also finds that labor market protection appears to have a non-linear relationship labor market participation gaps. At lower levels of labor market protection, stronger protection is associated with narrower labor force participation gaps, but at higher levels of protection, excessive labor market rigidity diminishes that effect. According to this study, when the edge of employment protection is too-strict or the too-loose, impacts are more negative.
The paper is organized as follows. Section II reviews the existing literature; Section III presents stylized facts on the relationship between macroeconomic and structural policies, and gender gaps in advanced economies, emerging markets and LICs. Section VI discusses the conclusions and policy implications. Gender equality encompasses a variety of dimensions, such as equality in the access to education, health and financial access for women and men, equality in labor force participation, and political representation.
When analyzing the impact of policies on gender equality, the cross-country literature often focuses on labor market outcomes, namely, female labor force participation or employment, while studies at the country level have also more deeply analyzed how policies impact inequality of opportunity, such as school enrollment rates. For each outcome variable, papers have explored many potential determinants of gender gaps.
Micro-level studies—both theoretical and empirical—are particularly insightful in this respect, and provide the underpinnings to the analysis of this paper. The main areas of work in the theoretical and empirical literature—both at the micro and macro level and covering cross-country and panel-studies—are summarized below.
Since this literature is vast, this overview does not aim to be exhaustive. Our paper presents a systematic approach to looking into the ificance of factors ly identified in the literature. A of studies have pointed to the theoretical underpinning of female labor supply. Female labor supply is often modeled using the framework of the time allocation model Beckerwhich posits that women make their labor supply decisions not only considering leisure and labor, but also home-based production of goods and services including caring for children.
Working for a wage is chosen only if earnings at least make up for the lost home production and the associated costsimplying a higher elasticity of female labor supply to wages. Many studies have emphasized the importance of education in models of female labor supply. Using micro data, Eckstein and Lifshitz estimate a dynamic stochastic female labor supply model with discrete choice contained in Eckstein and Wolpin and find that changes in education and wages play a large role in explaining female employment, with the former ing for a third of the increase in female employment, and the latter explaining about 20 percent.
Fernandez and Wong develop a dynamic life-cycle model with incomplete markets and risk-averse agents who differ in their educational endowments and make work, consumption, and savings decisions. Empirical work has shown that fertility and higher marriage rates ificantly affect female labor force participation.
Mishra and Smyth estimate that a 1 percent increase in the fertility rate in a 0. While there is a negative relationship between the variables at the individual country level, there is a positive relationship between fertility and female labor force participation at the cross-country level. They find that women living in countries where men participate more in-home production are better able to combine motherhood with work outside the house, leading to greater participation in the labor force at relatively high fertility levels. The trade-off between family and work is also reflected in a negative correlation between female labor force participation and marriage rates.
Luo exploits exogenous variation in the US marriage market caused by World War II casualties to show that marriage is an important opportunity cost that hinders Women seeking men Yangyang mb from becoming entrepreneurs.
On the revenue side, tax credits or benefits for low-wage earners can stimulate labor force participation, including among women. By reducing the net tax liability or even turning it negative, tax credits increase the net income gain from accepting a job. Such credits are usually phased out as income rises. Policies can also build on the fact that female labor supply is more responsive to taxes than male labor supply. For example, a switch from family income taxation to individual income taxation that reduces the tax burden for predominantly female secondary earners can support female labor force participation, while it would affect the less-tax-elastic male labor supply to a smaller extent Elborgh-Woytek and others As for expenditure policy, higher spending on infrastructure and education, as well as better access to comprehensive, affordable, and high-quality child care supports female employment Gong, Breunig, and King The elasticity of female labor supply with respect to the price of child care has been estimated to range from —0.
Thus, reducing the price of childcare by 50 percent could be associated with an increase of 6. Other studies document the importance of public infrastructure to boost the participation of women in the labor force. Norando finds that a large part of the difference in female labor force participation rates in between the United States, on the one hand, and Brazil and Mexico, on the other, can be explained by the availability of basic infrastructure electricity and running water.
Using micro data, Das et al. Gonzales and others examine the effect of gender-based legal restrictions and other policy choices and demographic characteristics on female labor force Women seeking men Yangyang mb. Female labor force participation is positively correlated with educational attainment for women.
Calibrating a dynamic model of labor supply, Eckstein and Lifshitz find that one-third of the increase in female employment during the last century in the United States can be attributed to education. In an empirical exercise, Steinberg and Nakaneshow that a one standard deviation increase in the education level in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD countries is associated with a 3 percentage points increase in female labor force participation. A lower female age at marriage and large age gaps between men and women at marriage have been associated with high gender inequality.
For instance, using micro data from rural Bangladesh, Field and Ambrus show that each additional year that marriage is delayed is associated with about one- fifth additional year of schooling and 5. Arguing that a lower age of marriage for women may simply reflect lower marriage ages for both men and women in a society, Stimple and Stadelmann test the relationship between the gap between men and women at marriage and estimate that an additional age difference between husband and wife of one year reduces female secondary schooling completion rates by 14 percentage points.
This, in turn, adversely impacts female education more than male education, therefore increasing the education gap. In this paper, we construct a large country-year panel dataset to examine the determinants of gender gaps in a systematic way. As noted in the literature survey above, many variables have been proposed in both macroeconomic and microeconomic studies as potential determinants of gender gaps. The large of potential determinants creates complications in several aspects.
First, a large of regressors makes it hard to identify the variables that are the most strongly related to gender gaps. Given that the sample size is often a constraint in macro-level studies, large model uncertainty caused by many potential regressors becomes an obstacle for researchers to draw conclusions on the importance of regressors. Second, from a more practical perspective, policy advice demands prioritization. Resources and capacity are often constrained, and policies that pay the best bang for the buck should be prioritized. To tackle model uncertainty, we use Bayesian Model Averaging 1 to identify the most robust determinants of gender gaps.
Sala-i-Martin et al. In many of the recent empirical macroeconomic studies, BMA has been commonly used as a mean to address model uncertainty. Before turning to the empirical investigation, we take a preliminary look at the data on our sample of countries from toto uncover possible correlations among policy variables and gender inequality in education and labor force participation, as well as highlight any differences between developing countries, emerging markets and advanced countries.
However, disaggregating advanced economies from emerging and developing countries shows that the size of gender gaps varies among different country groups e. Stylized facts point to a of possible determinants of gender gaps in education :. Higher public spending on education is associated with a narrower gender gap in years of schooling in both developed and developing countries, although the relationship appears to be stronger in the latter Figure 1panel 1possibly reflecting larger marginal returns to education when the level of economic development is lower.
Better infrastructure, as measured by improved access to sanitation facilities, is negatively correlated with the gender Women seeking men Yangyang mb in years of schooling in emerging markets Figure 1panel 2. This may be because in countries with better infrastructure, females can reduce the time spent on household activities, and increase the time in school.
In most societies, females are responsible for household water supply and sanitation. This activity can be very time-consuming in areas lacking adequate access to water and infrastructure. Women seeking men Yangyang mb, access to sanitation may have a direct impact by allowing adolescent girls to attend school more regularly and reduce security concerns.
This effect is not evident in advanced economies, where access to sanitation facilities is high and is not likely to be a binding constraint. Finally, the data suggest that improved access to finance is associated with a narrower gender gap in tertiary enrollment, but not in secondary or primary enrollment, possibly reflecting the higher cost of tertiary education. Similarly, we find evidence for a range of possible determinants of gender gaps in labor force participation gaps :.
Stylized facts also confirm the finding by Gonzales and others that more equal legal rights are associated with narrower labor force participation gaps Figure 2panel 1. Higher public spending on education is also associated with lower labor force participation gaps: the former is associated with lower education gaps, and more highly educated women have larger incentives to the labor market Figure 2panel 2. However, the effect seems to be mainly driven by advanced economies. This may reflect that public spending on education in advanced countries provides skill sets that would make it easier for women to access the labor market.
The impact of labor market regulation on labor force participation gaps seems to be equally ambiguous, with some relationship in advanced economies, but less so in emerging and developing economies Figure 2panel 3. We estimate a fixed-effect panel regression to assess the impact of policies on gender gaps, while controlling for country structural characteristics.
Specifically, we estimate the following relationship. Gap k,i,t is gender gap in either labor force participation or education in county i in region k and in year t. Fiscal policy : public spending on education and on health, that are expected to provide both opportunities to attend school and better skills to the labor market.
It would have been desirable to also include the tax rate on secondary earners and a dummy for income vs. However, these data are not available for most EMDEs. Several indicators of infrastructure: access to sanitation facilities, access to electricity, access to improved water source, and telephone subscription rates.Women seeking men Yangyang mb
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