Engendering Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

  • Citation: Seguino, Stephanie. “Engendering Macroeconomic Theory and Policy.” Feminist Economics 26 (2019): 27–61.
    • Topics:
    • Business and Trade
    • Transnational Issues
    • Keywords:
    • macroeconomics
    • gender differences
    • structural economics

Over the past two decades, economists have turned their attention to exploring the role of gender in the macroeconomy. This paper reviews the salient findings of that literature. Research shows that gender gaps in education, health, unpaid labor, employment, and wages have economy-wide consequences and influence the rate of growth. The effects are transmitted via both the supply side of the economy – principally through labor productivity – and the demand side – through business spending, exports, saving, and the balance of payments. In turn, a broad array of macro-level policies, including fiscal, monetary, and trade policies have differential effects by gender that, if unheeded, can undermine macro-policy goals. Their impact depends on the structure of the economy and the gender division of labor in paid and unpaid work. This survey makes clear that incorporation of gender into macro models improves the relevance of macroeconomic theory and can yield better policy results.

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