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Patrick Blagrave and Marika Santoro
Gains in labor force participation rates in Chile have slowed in recent years. We examine their determinants using a cohort-model analysis. Allowing for both age- and cohort-specific effects in the context of a seemingly unrelated regression equations (SURE) approach, we find that age factors play an important role in determining participation decisions, especially for males. For females, we find that strong positive time trends dominate the downward pressure from demographics, although those trends have recently dissipated. In addition, we find that both cohort effects and the business cycle shape participation decisions. Using our cohort-based analysis, we construct projections of participation rates, which suggest population aging will put downward pressure on labor inputs, and thus potential output, in coming years. Further increases in female labor force participation—supported by policies— could more than offset the downward pressure from demographics.
Patrick Blagrave and Marika Santoro

averages (52 percent), a phenomenon that has been documented elsewhere (for example, Contreras, Hurtado, and Sara (2012) )—however, more recently, participation among females in Chile has been similar to that in other Latin American countries, though a considerable gap remains relative to top performers in the region ( Figure 5 ). Figure 5: Female labor force participatio nrate in Latin America (2014) Sources: World Bank WDI. Focusing on the more recent period, during the first decade of the 2000s female participation rates closed 30 percent of the gap with