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

Removing Obstacles to Employment for Women in Ireland

Women have contributed a great deal to Ireland's economic growth, including by joining the labour force in large numbers. The rise in female participation since 1990 has been amongst the strongest in the OECD, but from a low base. Female participation rates remain below the OECD average for all except the under-thirties. Cultural attitudes and low educational attainment among older women are factors, but policy settings play a role as well. Support to families is not targeted at working parents, implying that the return to work is low for many mothers. Working parents of school-age children also face difficulties in reconciling employment and work because out-of-school care is insufficiently developed. The tax system should be further improved to support second earners, most of whom are women, so as to strengthen their incentive to enter the labour market and reduce the bias in favour of the home production of services such as childcare. This paper reviews these issues and offers recommendations to continue to create a more favourable environment for women who want to enter the labour market.


Keywords: optimal taxation, fiscal policies and behaviour of households, time allocation, child care, size and structure, efficiency, government expenditure, labour supply, labour force and employment, economics of gender
JEL: J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; D13: Microeconomics / Household Behavior and Family Economics / Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation; J21: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure; J22: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Time Allocation and Labor Supply
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error