Foreign Direct Investment and Women Empowerment: New Evidence on Developing Countries


Rasmané Ouedraogo ; Elodie Marlet

Publication Date:

January 25, 2018

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


This paper assesses the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on gender development and gender inequality. In fact, FDI through increased labor demand, technological spillovers but mostly through corporate social responsibility and economic growth, can potentially influence women’s welfare. Using a panel dataset of 94 developing countries from 1990 to 2015, we find that FDI inflows improve women’s welfare and decrease gender inequality. However, the impact is lower in countries where women have low access to resources and face a heavier burden to open a business. This suggests that for countries to fully benefit from FDI inflows, they should ensure that women can enjoy free access to the labor market and associated income.


Working Paper No. 2018/025



Publication Date:

January 25, 2018



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