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Is Gender Inequality a Barrier to Economic Growth? A Panel Data Analysis of Developing Countries

Amaia Altuzarra (), Catalina Gálvez-Gálvez () and Ana González-Flores ()
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Amaia Altuzarra: Department of Public Policies and Economic History, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48015 Bilbao, Spain
Catalina Gálvez-Gálvez: Department of Public Policies and Economic History, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48015 Bilbao, Spain
Ana González-Flores: Department of Public Policies and Economic History, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48015 Bilbao, Spain

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Ana González Flores

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 1, 1-21

Abstract: This study provides empirical evidence about the effects of various dimensions of gender inequalities (education, labour market and institutional representation) on economic growth. We use data from the World Bank Development Indicators database for the period 1990–2017. We initially use a large panel of 105 developing countries. Subsequently we study a panel with the sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries since this region is one of the poorest regions in the world. We estimate cross-country and panel regressions. The results suggest that gender equality in education contributes to economic growth and this is a common feature in developing countries. The contribution of equality in education to growth seems to be greater in the SSA countries than in the entire sample of developing countries. The female–male ratio of labour market participation is not statistically significant. We also find a significant link between the presence of women in parliaments and growth in the sample of all developing countries, while this relationship is negative for the SSA countries. It is likely that despite the increased participation of women in the political arena in these countries, women may still encounter major obstacles to altering political priorities and affecting economic growth.

Keywords: economic growth; gender inequality; education; labour force; women in parliament; dynamic panel data; SSA countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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