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Gender bias and central bank policy: employment and inflation reduction

  • Elissa Braunstein
  • James Heintz
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    This article considers the employment costs of inflation reduction in developing countries from a gender perspective. We explore two broad empirical questions: (1) what is the impact of inflation reduction on employment, and is the impact different for women and men, and (2) how are monetary policy indicators (e.g. real interest rates) connected to deflationary episodes and gender-specific employment effects? We find a common pattern among countries undergoing what we term contractionary inflation reduction, or periods of declining inflation that are accompanied by a loss of formal employment. After controlling for long-term employment trends, we find that the ratio of women's to men's employment tends to decline during these periods in the majority of countries examined. During the fewer periods of expansionary inflation reduction, however, there are no clear patterns to the relative changes in women's and men's employment. Maintaining competitive exchange rates seems to counterbalance the gender-biased effects of contractionary inflation reduction episodes, however.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02692170801889643
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 173-186

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:2:p:173-186
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