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Women and labor market changes in the global economy : growth helps, inequalities hurt, and public policy matters

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  • Tzannatos, Zafiris

Abstract

This report examines the level and changes in female and male participation rates, employment segregation, and female wages relative to male wages across the world economy. It funds sufficient evidence to support the view that labor markets in developing countries are transformed relatively quickly in the sense that gender differentials in employment and pay are narrowing much faster than they did in industrialized countries. However, the report evaluates the inefficiencies arising from persisting gender differentials in the labor market and finds them to be potentially significant. The estimates also indicate that the resulting deadweight losses are borne primarily by women while men gain mainly in relative terms-there are no real winners from discrimination. The paper concludes that growth benefits women at large, inequalities can have significantly adverse effects on welfare, and market-based development alone can be a weak instrument doe reducing inequality between the sexes. To break the vicious cycle of women's low initial human capital endowments and inferior labor market outcomes compared to men's, the report proposes greater access to education and training for girls and women, enforceable equal pay and equal employment opportunities legislation, a taxation and benefits structure that treats reproduction as an economic activity and women as equal partners within households, and a better accounting of women's work to include invisible production.

Suggested Citation

  • Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1998. "Women and labor market changes in the global economy : growth helps, inequalities hurt, and public policy matters," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 20051, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:20051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eileen Trzcinski & William T. Alpert, 1994. "Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefits in the United States and Canada: Judicial Decisions and Legislation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 535-554.
    2. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 1994. "Gender Differences in Pensions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 555-587.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2007. "Chile - County Gender Assessment : Expanding Women's Work Choices to Enhance Chile's Economic Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7639, The World Bank.
    2. Audi, Marc & Ali, Amjad, 2016. "Gender Gap and Trade Liberalization: An Analysis of some selected SAARC countries," MPRA Paper 83520, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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