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Anna Ivanova, Jaume Puig, Victoria Valente, and Joyce Wong

this chapter, give rise to women in work having a lower human capital capacity than men, which directly dampens growth potential. Global gender gaps in labor participation vary strongly by region, with the largest gaps in Middle Eastern and North African countries, followed by South Asia and by Central America, where gaps are well above those seen in advanced economies. Within Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR), gaps in Guatemala and Honduras are the largest, with labor force participation (LFP) rates for men being close to 40 percentage

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the macroeconomic impact of existing gender gaps in Ethiopia and discusses the authorities’ policies in the areas of gender equality and women’s rights, with a focus on women’s economic engagement. Ethiopia has shown a firm political commitment to the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights; however significant challenges around women’s economic participation remain. Whilst most people work in Ethiopia, women face many barriers to formal labor force participation, have lower levels of education than men—particularly at secondary and tertiary levels—and have significant wage gaps compared to men. The findings suggest that, eliminating gender gaps in both educational attainment and the rate of formal employment could increase output in Ethiopia over time by over 24 percent. Improved institutional capacity would lead to better integration of gender issues into the planning and implementation of government policies. Ethiopia has already embedded gender units within the structure of many of its ministries.
Natalija Novta and Joyce Wong
Women across the world remain an underutilized resource in the labor force. Participation in the labor force averages around 80 percent for men but only 50 percent for women – nearly half of women’s productive potential remains untapped compared to one-fifth for men. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as a region, saw the largest gains in female labor force participation (LFP) in the world during the last two decades. Women in LAC are becoming increasingly active in paid work, closing the gap with men and catching up to their counterparts in advanced economies at an impressive rate. In this paper, we document the recent trends in female LFP and female education in the LAC region, discuss the size of potential gains to GDP from increasing female LFP and policies which could be deployed towards this goal.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper looks at the following important issues pertaining to the economy of Costa Rica: micro-financial linkages, financial sector vulnerabilities, monetary policy stance, financial deepening in Costa Rica, financial inclusion in Costa Rica, recent fiscal developments and medium-term sustainability, and female labor force participation in Costa Rica. This paper discusses linkages between the Costa Rican real economy and financial sector. Although increasingly diversified, the Costa Rican financial system is centered on banking intermediation. The banking system is highly segmented and heavily dollarized. To assess the adequacy of the current monetary policy stance, this paper estimates the neutral monetary policy interest rate.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Armenia seeks to quantify the macroeconomic impact of the government’s reform agenda, which covers three broad areas: tax policy and pension; governance, government efficiency, and corruption; and labor market and competition. Strengthening growth and competitiveness and addressing governance problems requires comprehensive reform efforts. The new government has made it clear that fighting corruption and improving governance remain top priorities. Measures have been proposed to enhance corporate transparency, including through accounting and auditing reforms. A more systematic support program for small and medium-sized enterprises, along with labor market reforms, should also help alleviate unemployment difficulties. The simulations suggest that the government’s tax policy reform can have a positive impact on output in the medium run if it is accompanied by supporting measures. The results suggest that a full implementation of the reform package would yield substantial benefits for the economy. In particular, it could increase real GDP by as much as 7 percent over the long run.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Female Labor Force Participation in Costa Rica 1 Despite the high educational attainment of women in Costa Rica, its female labor force participation (LFP) rate lags behind those of LA5. Using both evidence from household surveys and cross-country data, this note examines the determinants of female labor force participation and the factors behind low female LFP rate in Costa Rica. Income and education levels, presence of children in the household, physical and informational access to jobs as well as labor market efficiency are important determinants of