Monetary Policy and Labor Market Gender Gaps


Valentina Flamini ; Diego B. P. Gomes ; Bihong Huang ; Lisa L Kolovich ; Aina Puig ; Aleksandra Zdzienicka

Publication Date:

September 29, 2023

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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.


We study the effects of monetary policy shocks on employment gender gaps in a panel of 22 countries using quarterly data from 1990 to 2019. Our results show that men’s employment falls more than women’s after contractionary monetary policy shocks, narrowing the employment gender gap over time. Two factors contribute to explaining this heterogeneous effect. First, a larger impact of monetary policy shocks on employment in the industry sector that employs more men. Second, the larger response of the employment gap in the sector (services) that employs the largest share of men and women. In terms of labor market adjustment, the narrowing of the gender employment gap is initially driven by a reduction in the gender unemployment gaps that, over time, results in an adjustment in the gender labor force participation gap—with men’s labor force participation dropping more than women’s. The effects are larger in countries with more flexible labor market regulations, higher gender wage gaps, and lower informal women’s employment compared to men’s. Finally, the effects are also larger for contractionary monetary policy shocks and during expansions.


Working Paper No. 2023/211





Publication Date:

September 29, 2023



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