OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Promoting gender equality to strengthen economic growth and resilience

Women’s employment rates and wages are still lagging those of men across OECD countries, with average employment and wage gaps now around 15% and 12% respectively. Gaps narrowed at a relatively modest pace over the past decade, calling for further policy action. A lack of affordable high-quality childcare is often an obstacle to women’s participation in the labour market and notably to working full time. A very unequal sharing of parental leave between parents and challenges upon return to work further hampers women’s careers. Biases in the tax system may discourage women from working in some countries. Women face disadvantage in accessing management positions and entrepreneurship. A range of policies can help reduce gender gaps, including better childcare provision, incentivising parents to better share parental leave, re-skilling and upskilling on return from parental leave, encouraging gender equality within firms, integration programmes for foreign-born women, promoting women entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and levelling taxation for second earners. Moreover, the multiple dimensions and root causes of gender inequality call for mainstreaming gender across policy domains.

English Also available in: French

Keywords: Taxation, Education, Inequality, Immigration, Economics of Gender, Childcare, Entrepreneurship, Gender equality, Parental leave, Training, Financial inclusion, Labour discrimination
JEL: J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; M53: Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics / Personnel Economics / Personnel Economics: Training; I24: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Inequality; J78: Labor and Demographic Economics / Labor Discrimination / Labor Discrimination: Public Policy; J13: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth; J71: Labor and Demographic Economics / Labor Discrimination / Discrimination; L26: Industrial Organization / Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior / Entrepreneurship; H24: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; J15: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination; D63: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
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