Female Labor Force Participation and economic growth: Accounting for the gender bonus

Diogo Baerlocher, Stephen L. Parente, Eduardo Rios-Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Borrowing from the demographic dividend literature, this paper examines whether there is a gender bonus, namely an increase in the average living standard associated with increases in female labor force participation (FLFP) rates. Translating a per worker production function into a per capita one, it derives a linear dynamic model, the coefficient of which can be used to test for the existence of a gender bonus, and the reasons for this bonus. Using an international panel and applying a system GMM approach, it finds a positive and statistically significant effect of the growth of FLFP on economic growth and a positive but not statistically different from zero effect of the initial FLFP on economic growth. Importantly, we cannot reject the hypothesis that either of these effects is merely an accounting effect, namely a consequence of having more workers in the economy and more aggregate output. It finds no support for a secondary bonus through education or population growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109740
JournalEconomics Letters
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Economic growth
  • Female Labor Force
  • Gender bonus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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