Nicola Bianchi, Michela Giorcelli, Enrica Maria Martino, 24 February 2022

The relationship between fiscal autonomy of local government and provision of public services has been extensively analysed, but the spillover effects to local labour markets have received limited attention. This column measures the effects of greater fiscal decentralisation in Italy by exploiting variation in local property taxes. Greater decentralisation increases the public provision of childcare and, consequently, female labour force participation. This effect is shown to be particularly strong among women under the age of 35, pointing to the importance of affordable childcare in shaping women’s labour market activity.

Nicole Bosch, Jan van Ours, Bas van der Klaauw, 05 September 2009

Female part-time work is much more popular and persistent in the Netherlands than in any other OECD country. A 2001 tax reform that raised the after-tax hourly wage increased female labour force participation but actually reduced hours worked. This column explains why Dutch women are happy to work part-time.

Catia Nicodemo, 25 July 2009

It seems intuitive that more affordable childcare would encourage mothers to enter into the labour force. But this column documents the persistence of unpaid, non-parental childcare in southern European countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. It stresses the importance of this finding for formulating new policies to encourage female labour participation.

José Tavares, Tiago Cavalcanti, 16 October 2007

Gender discrimination is economically inefficient since it prevents equalisation of marginal products. Recent simulations based on calibrated macro models indicate that the economic loss is large. In one thought experiment, the research suggests that a very large fraction of the income differences between many nations and the US is due to gender inequality.

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