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On gender and growth: The role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints

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  • Agénor, Pierre-Richard
  • Canuto, Otaviano
  • da Silva, Luiz Pereira

Abstract

This paper studies the growth effects of externalities associated with intergenerational health transmission, health persistence, and access to infrastructure (or lack thereof), which affects women's occupational choices. Following a brief review of the evidence on these issues, a gender-based overlapping generations (OLG) model of endogenous growth that captures these interactions is presented and its properties characterized. The endogeneity of mothers’ rearing time and rearing costs implies that improved access to infrastructure has in general an ambiguous effect on growth. Numerical experiments, based on a calibrated version of the model for low-income countries, show that it is possible for higher investment in infrastructure to actually reduce the steady-state growth rate. The possibility of multiple equilibria induced by an endogenous survival rate is also discussed, and so is the role of public policy in that context.

Suggested Citation

  • Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & da Silva, Luiz Pereira, 2014. "On gender and growth: The role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 132-147.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:30:y:2014:i:c:p:132-147
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2014.05.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender inequality; Public capital; Endogenous growth; Multiple equilibria;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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