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Unraveling the Factors Behind Women's Empowerment in the Labor Market in Colombia


  • Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez
  • Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra
  • María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo
  • Ana María Tribín-Uribe
  • Héctor M. Zárate-Solano


This paper examines the evolution of women's participation in the labor market from 1960 to 2018, shedding light on the complex factors that influence their labor opportunities. The study emphasizes the significance of the historical context in understanding these factors. This research uncovers nuanced insights using a two-step methodology involving principal component analysis and Time-Varying Effect Modeling (TVEM). The results indicate that the transition from high to low fertility rates significantly influenced female labor participation until the late 1970s. Educational advancements, economic growth, and changing marital dynamics also played a role in shaping evolving patterns. From 1980 to 1995, factors such as diminishing fertility, declining infant mortality, and varying economic conditions influenced women's labor involvement. From 1995 to 2010, higher education emerged as a key driver, accompanied by shifting societal norms, and from 2010 to 2018, the period witnessed positive contributions from fertility rates, minimum wage, and male labor participation. This study underscores the intricate relationship between education, demographics, social norms, and economics in shaping women's labor force participation, providing valuable insights for gender-inclusive policies and promoting women's economic empowerment. **** Este artículo examina la evolución de la participación laboral de las mujeres desde 1960 hasta 2018, analiza los factores que influyen en sus oportunidades laborales y destaca la importancia del contexto histórico para comprender la relación entre estos factores. El estudio utiliza una metodología de dos etapas, incluyendo el análisis de componentes principales y el modelo de efectos cambiantes en el tiempo (TVEM por su sigla en inglés). Los resultados muestran que la transición demográfica tuvo un impacto significativo en la participación laboral femenina hasta finales de la década de 1970. Además, los avances educativos, el crecimiento económico y los cambios en normas sociales, incluyendo el matrimonio, contribuyeron a explicar la dinámica laboral de las mujeres. Desde 1980 hasta 1995, factores como la disminución de la fecundidad, la reducción de la mortalidad infantil y las condiciones económicas moldearon su participación laboral. A partir de 1995, la educación superior se convirtió en un factor clave, junto con cambios en las normas sociales. Durante el período 2010 - 2018, se observaron contribuciones positivas de las tasas de fecundidad, el salario mínimo y la participación laboral masculina. Este estudio resalta la compleja relación entre la educación, la demografía, las normas sociales y la economía en la configuración de la participación de las mujeres en la fuerza laboral, y proporciona información valiosa para desarrollar políticas inclusivas de género promoviendo el empoderamiento económico de las mujeres.

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  • Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez & Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo & Ana María Tribín-Uribe & Héctor M. Zárate-Solano, 2023. "Unraveling the Factors Behind Women's Empowerment in the Labor Market in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1250, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:1250
    DOI: 10.32468/be.1250

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    female labor participation; Time-Varying Effect Modeling; demographic transition; Colombia; participación laboral femenina; modelo de efectos cambiantes en el tiempo; transición demográfica;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C29 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Other
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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