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THREE ESSAYS ON GENDER-SPECIFIC EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES OF MACROECONOMIC POLICIES

Abstract
This three-essay dissertation examines the impact of fiscal and monetary policies on gender-disaggregated employment outcomes both theoretically and empirically. The first essay constructs a structuralist macroeconomic model that explores channels whereby fiscal and monetary policies impact women’s paid and unpaid work. The essay discusses two factors related to labor market segregation that can explain differential effects of macroeconomic policies on male and female employment: the labor intensity of female-dominated sectors, and different responses of capacity utilization to aggregate demand shocks in male and female-dominated sectors. In addition, a decline in output resulting from aggregate demand shocks may increase women’s unpaid work burden when households cannot afford to buy substitutes for the output of unpaid care work. This can also create a labor supply constraint for female employment. The second essay examines the dynamic impacts of fiscal consolidation on the ratio of female employment rates to male employment rates using a dataset for 17 OECD countries over the period 1978-2009. Using a local projections method, this essay shows that fiscal consolidation has a disproportionate impact on female employment rates 3-6 years after the policy change. The impact is driven by the effect of spending-based fiscal consolidation on female employment rates. The results are robust after controlling for the female labor force participation rate, the sectoral structure of the economy, and female employment shares in different economic activities. In the third essay, I examine the dynamic effects of inflation-reduction policies on female and male employment rates in 23 OECD-European countries over the period 1998-2018 using quarterly panel data. The findings suggest that an increase in short-term interest rates, as a proxy for the monetary policy rate, leads to a decline in both female and male employment rates but does not show any significant gender effect on the ratio of employment rates. When controlling for female employment shares by broad areas of activity, an increase in short-term interest rates affects female employment rates disproportionately at the end of an eight-quarter period.
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