The labor force participation of women is lower than the labor force participa-
tion of men. This empirical regularity is particularly acute in Latin America and the

Caribbeans (LAC). In terms of labor market productivity and growth potential, these

lower participation rates constitute a reserve of untapped resources. Providing an es-
timate of the impact of an increase in female labor force participation on labor market

outcomes and GDP is therefore crucial but it is challenging. Two issues are of partic-
ular importance: sample selection and equilibrium effects. We develop a labor market

model able to address these issues. We estimate the model on microdata for five LAC

countries. We find that both a child care policy and a policy increasing women’s pro-
ductivity generate a positive impact on female participation and significant increases

in GDP per capita. We claim our results suggest that relative modest policies able to
increase the participation of women in the labor market can provide significant impacts
on growth. However, we are not able to take into account the fiscal costs necessary to
implement the policies or the possible negative externalities on household production.

Monserrat Bustelo, Luca Flabbi, Claudia Piras,Mauricio Tejada.





Año: 2017