Access to infrastructure and women's time allocation: Implications for growth and gender equality

Pierre Richard Agénor, Madina Agénor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Improved access to infrastructure is commonly viewed as a critical step to increase women's labor force participation and promote economic growth in developing countries. This positive relationship is first established in a basic gender-based, overlapping generations model with collective households and congestion costs. The model is then extended to account for endogenous gender bias in the market place and women's bargaining power, as well as fertility choices and rearing time. Numerical experiments, based on a calibrated version of the extended model, show that increased access to infrastructure may induce women to devote more time to child rearing – in line with the model's predictions and some of the empirical evidence – thereby mitigating the increase in time allocated to market work. As a result, it may weaken the benefits of increased female labor force participation in terms of reduced gender bias in the market place, improved women's bargaining power in the family, and higher growth rates in the long run.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103472
JournalJournal of Macroeconomics
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Bargaining power
  • Economic growth
  • Infrastructure
  • Labor market participation
  • Women's time allocation

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