Western Hemisphere > Chile

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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.
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.
Mr. Christian Gonzales, Ms. Sonali Jain-Chandra, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Ms. Monique Newiak, and Mr. Tlek Zeinullayev
This study shows empirically that gender inequality and income inequality are strongly interlinked, even after controlling for standard drivers of income inequality. The study analyzes gender inequality by using and extending the United Nation’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) to cover two decades for almost 140 countries,. The main finding is that an increase in the GII from perfect gender equality to perfect inequality is associated with an almost 10 points higher net Gini coefficient. For advanced countries, with higher gender equity in opportunities, income inequality arises mainly through gender gaps in economic participation. For emerging market and developing countries, inequality of opportunity, in particular in education and health, appear to pose larger obstacles to income equality.
Mr. Sebastian Sosa, Ms. Evridiki Tsounta, and Miss Marie S Kim
A favorable external environment coupled with prudent policies fostered output growth in most of Latin America during the last decade. But, what were the drivers of this strong growth performance from the supply side and will this momentum be sustainable in the years ahead? We address these questions by identifying the proximate causes of the recent high GDP growth and estimating potential growth rates for the period ahead for a large group of Latin American countries based on standard (Solow-style) growth accounting methodologies. We find that factor accumulation (especially labor), rather than growth in total factor productivity (TFP), remains the main driver of GDP growth. Moving forward, given the expected moderation of capital accumulation and some natural constraints on labor, the strong growth momentum is unlikely to be sustainable unless TFP performance improves significantly.