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Gender gaps in STEM occupations in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico

David Cuberes (), Florencia Saravia () and Marc Teignier ()
Additional contact information
David Cuberes: Clark University
Florencia Saravia: Universitat de Barcelona
Marc Teignier: Universitat de Barcelona and BEAT

No 2022/432, UB Economics Working Papers from Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB School of Economics

Abstract: This paper documents the existence of significant gender gaps in STEM occupations in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico and estimates the aggregate costs associated with these gaps in Mexico. For Mexico we calibrate and simulate a version of the general equilibrium occupational choice model of Hsieh et al. (2019) to estimate the output losses associated with these differences since 1992. We find that if barriers in STEM occupations were eliminated aggregate output would have been between 1% and 10% larger, depending on the year. If female-specific social norms were also eliminated, the rise in aggregate output would be between 1.4% and 14%. For comparison purposes, we also compute the gains of eliminating all the distortions in high-skilled occupations as well as in all occupations. We find that aggregate output would rise between 16.5% and 3.6% in the former group of occupations and between 36.7% and 12% in the latter.

Keywords: Talent misallocation; STEM occupations; aggregate productivity. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E2 J21 J24 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-his and nep-lma
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