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From households to national statistics: Macroeconomic effects of Women's empowerment

Luis San Vicente Portes, Vidya Atal and Miriam Juarez

Economic Modelling, 2019, vol. 79, issue C, 286-294

Abstract: How do shifts in intra-household gender dynamics affect the economy at large? This paper parametrizes intra-household gender-powered decision-making and endogenous distributions of income to allow for the aggregation of key macroeconomic variables. In equilibrium, we find that greater women's empowerment increases precautionary savings to offset low endowment realizations. The effect is stronger among poor households who hedge against hitting a subsistence bound. Given the boost in savings at the bottom of the distribution, more empowerment leads to less poverty and lower income inequality. Another equilibrium prediction of the model is an increase in the household's food intake regardless of income, reflecting women's greater preference for food compared to men. The model's predictions are mapped to Mexico's 2014 National Household Income and Expenditure Survey which identifies the gender of the head of the household. These predictions have policy implications in the areas of monetary policy, social policy, financial intermediation and banking.

Keywords: Empowerment; Women and wealth; Subsistence consumption; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 E21 D70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2019.01.024

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