From households to national statistics: Macroeconomic effects of Women's empowerment

Luis San Vicente Portes, Vidya Atal, Miriam Juárez Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

How do shifts in intra-household gender dynamics affect the economy at large? This paper parametrizes intra-household gender-powered decision-making and endogenous distributions of income to allow for the aggregation of key macroeconomic variables. In equilibrium, we find that greater women's empowerment increases precautionary savings to offset low endowment realizations. The effect is stronger among poor households who hedge against hitting a subsistence bound. Given the boost in savings at the bottom of the distribution, more empowerment leads to less poverty and lower income inequality. Another equilibrium prediction of the model is an increase in the household's food intake regardless of income, reflecting women's greater preference for food compared to men. The model's predictions are mapped to Mexico's 2014 National Household Income and Expenditure Survey which identifies the gender of the head of the household. These predictions have policy implications in the areas of monetary policy, social policy, financial intermediation and banking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
JournalEconomic Modelling
Volume79
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Empowerment
  • Inequality
  • Subsistence consumption
  • Women and wealth

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