Individual Choice or Policies? Drivers of Female Employment in Europe


Lone Engbo Christiansen ; Huidan Huidan Lin ; Joana Pereira ; Petia Topalova ; Rima A Turk

Publication Date:

March 7, 2016

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


Female labor force participation has increased markedly in many European countries during the past decades. Nonetheless, participation rates remain low in some economies, and a significant gender gap persists in most countries. Using micro-level data to control for factors that influence personal choice, we re-examine the determinants of female employment in Europe. The results highlight the importance of positive attitudes towards women working and individual characteristics such as years of education and number of children. However, even after controlling for these factors, policies are also key drivers of female employment.


Working Paper No. 2016/049



Publication Date:

March 7, 2016



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to