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Women and the Italian economy


  • Magda Bianco

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Francesca Lotti

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Roberta Zizza

    () (Bank of Italy)


Gender gaps in the labour market, in boardrooms and in wages are still significant in Italy. This paper, which summarizes the main results of a research project aimed at identifying the economic consequences of these gaps and their main causes, presents some evidence regarding wage differentials, differences in the gender composition of boards and differentials in access to credit. The causes of these persistent gaps are found both in labour supply and demand factors. Among the former we count the dearth of policies and programmes to reconcile work and family commitments and the lack of flexibility in the workplace; education is also relevant in some respects. Among the latter, we include cultural factors and “implicit” discrimination, i.e. when the labour market rewards traits more commonly found in men even when they have no bearing on specific job requirements. Some policies to narrow gender gaps are discussed: national and regional legislation; subsidies for female entrepreneurship; a tax system that does not discourage female labour supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Magda Bianco & Francesca Lotti & Roberta Zizza, 2013. "Women and the Italian economy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 171, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_171_13

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    More about this item


    gender gap; conciliation; discrimination; politics;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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