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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.
Lone Engbo Christiansen, Ms. Huidan Huidan Lin, Ms. Joana Pereira, Petia Topalova, and Rima Turk

document preparation. Any remaining errors are our own. Authors can be reached at LChristiansen@imf.org , HLin@imf.org , JPereira@imf.org , PTopalova@imf.org , RTurk@imf.org . Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CHAPTER 1. WHY IS INCREASING FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RELEVANT? CHAPTER 2. HOW HAS WOMEN’S LABOR SUPPLY EVOLVED? MORE WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE BUT STILL FEW WOMEN IN CORPORATE LEADERSHIP ROLES CHAPTER 3. DO POLICIES MATTER? IN ADDITION TO INDIVIDUAL CHOICE, POLICIES AFFECT EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS CORPORATE PERFORMANCE MAY IMPROVE

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

mothers “hidden” within extended households, it is important to target such women and their children directly through health clinics and primary schools. • Alleviate constraints on women’s labor supply. For example, to free women up to perform their multiple roles, policymakers need to improve provision of child care, water supplies, and health services. • Ensure that social capital does not break down. Taking stock of the institutions that already exist at the community level is a necessary first step. Subsequent steps include breaking dependency syndromes

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

currently enrolled) and after-school programs are still insufficient. Relieving these barriers is expected to increase women’s labor supply. 5 7. Second, retirement age could be extended beyond the current goal of 67 years in 2029 . Labor force participation is still relatively low in Germany for the 64+ wage group, and the effective retirement age, estimated by the OECD at 62.7 years in 2014, is below that of several other OECD countries. Longer working lives can be incentivized either by indexing statutory retirement ages to life expectancy and/or by removing

Mariya Brussevich and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris

-country empirical evidence ( Olivetti, 2013 ; Rendall, 2018 ). We first use micro-level data for the period 1995–2013 to examine the drivers of widening gender gaps in China. One important factor can be the income effect, in particular, the U-shaped relationship between FLFP rate and income growth found in the empirical literature. Using province-level data for China, we also find a negative correlation between GDP per capita and FLFP rates, with wealthier provinces exhibiting lower FLFP rates. We then estimate women’s labor supply elasticity both to own wages and to spouse

Angana Banerji, Albe Gjonbalaj, Sandile Hlatshwayo, and Anh Van Le

Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury .” Journal of Political Economy 112 ( 3 ). Anh , J. , Z. An , J. Bluedorn , G. Ciminelli , Z. Koczan , D. Malacrino , D. Muhaj , and P. Neidlinger . Forthcoming. “ Work in Progress: Youth Labor Markets in Emerging Market and Developing Economies .” Goldin , C. , and C. Olivetti . 2012 . “ Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on U.S. Women’s Labor Supply .” NBER Working Paper 18676 , National Bureau of Economic Research , Cambridge, MA

Yuko Kinoshita and Ms. Kalpana Kochhar

others (2009) find that each birth on average decreases women’s labor supply by almost two years during a woman’s reproductive life. While there is a negative relationship between these variables at the individual country level, there is a positive relationship between fertility and female labor force participation at the cross-country level. Researchers have explained this apparent contradiction by looking at the contribution that men make to their households ( De Laat and Sevilla-Sanz, 2011 ). They find that women in countries where men participate more in

Mariya Brussevich and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
This paper examines gender inequality in the context of structural transformation and rebalancing in China. We document declining women's relative wages and labor force participation in China during the last two decades, despite rapid growth and expansion of the service sector. Using household data, we provide evidence consistent with a U-shaped relationship between economic development and women's labor market outcomes. Using a model of structural transformation, we show that labor market barriers for women have increased over time. Model counterfactuals suggest that removing these barriers and increasing service sector productivity can boost both gender equality and economic growth in China.
Lone Engbo Christiansen, Ms. Huidan Huidan Lin, Ms. Joana Pereira, Petia Topalova, and Rima Turk

have been shown to be correlated with lower participation rates. 3 Similar to men, women’s labor supply also varies over their life cycle, making age an important determinant of labor force participation ( Heckman and MaCurdy, 1980 ; Bloom, 2009 ; Mishra and Smyth, 2010; Eckstein and Lifshitz, 2011 ; and Fernández and Wong, 2014 ). 4 Education . Education strengthens women’s incentives to provide market work as it raises their potential earnings in the labor market relative to household work ( Eckstein and Lifshitz, 2011 ). Across Europe, better educated women

Ms. Sonali Jain-Chandra, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Ms. Monique Newiak, Yang Yang, and Ms. Edda Zoli