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Gender Issues in Kaleckian Distribution and Growth Models: On the Macroeconomics of the Gender Wage Gap

Eckhard Hein

Review of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 32, issue 4, 640-664

Abstract: We introduce a gender wage gap into basic one-good textbook versions of the neo-Kaleckian distribution and growth model for a developed capitalist economy and examine the effects of improving gender wage equality on income distribution, aggregate demand, capital accumulation and productivity growth. For the closed economy model, reducing the gender wage gap has no effect on the profit share, and a gender equality-led regime requires the propensity to save out of female wages to fall short of the propensity to save out of male wages. For the open economy model, this condition is modified by the effects of improved gender wage equality on exports, and – through changes of the profit share – on domestic demand. Finally, for the open economy with productivity growth we find an unambiguously expansionary effect of narrowing the gender wage gap on long-run equilibrium capital accumulation and productivity growth if the demand growth regime is gender equality-led. A gender equality-burdened demand growth regime, however, may generate different long-run effects of improving gender wage equality on capital accumulation and productivity growth: expansionary, intermediate or contractionary.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2020.1836811

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