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Gender Inequality and Economic Growth: Evidence from Industry-Level Data


  • Ata Can Bertay
  • Ljubica Dordevic
  • Can Sever


We study whether higher gender equality facilitates economic growth by enabling better allocation of a valuable resource: female labor. By allocating female labor to its more productive use, we hypothesize that reducing gender inequality should disproportionately benefit industries with typically higher female share in their employment relative to other industries. Specifically, we exploit within-country variation across industries to test whether those that typically employ more women grow relatively faster in countries with ex-ante lower gender inequality. The test allows us to identify the causal effect of gender inequality on industry growth in value-added and labor productivity. Our findings show that gender inequality affects real economic outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ata Can Bertay & Ljubica Dordevic & Can Sever, 2020. "Gender Inequality and Economic Growth: Evidence from Industry-Level Data," IMF Working Papers 2020/119, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2020/119

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    Cited by:

    1. Osama H. M. Hassan & Abu Elnasr E. Sobaih & Ibrahim A. Elshaer, 2022. "The Impact of Women’s Empowerment on Their Entrepreneurship Intention in the Saudi Food Industry," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 15(12), pages 1-14, December.
    2. Han Dongcheng & Kong Fanbo & Wang Zixun, 2021. "Gender identity and relative income within household: Evidence from China," Papers 2110.08723,
    3. Serap Bedir Kara & Aysegul Coskun, 2020. "The Impact of Gender Inequalities in Education on Income Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)," Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, Eurasian Publications, vol. 8(4), pages 148-162.
    4. Nguyen, Canh Phuc, 2021. "Gender equality and economic complexity," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 45(4).
    5. Cuong Viet Nguyen, 2022. "The Impact of Joint Land Titling: Evidence from Vietnam," European Journal of Business Science and Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics, vol. 8(2), pages 127-142.
    6. Nguyen, Canh Phuc, 2022. "Uncertainty and gender inequality: A global investigation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 31-47.


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