Gender gaps in working hours vary widely across member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This article summarizes the key results from Duval-Hernández, Fang, and Ngai (2021), who study the source of cross-country differences and what kind of policies can reduce the gap in working hours between women and men.
- Cross-country differences in the gender ratio of market hours (women relative to men) are mostly accounted for by the differences in market hours of women and the size of the service sector that produces close substitutes to home production.
- Cross-country differences in taxes and social subsidies on family care can help explain the differences of the gender ratio in market hours.
- The key to increase female market hours is to establish policies that reduce the cost of marketizing home production.
Center for Human Capital Studies
JEL classification: E24, E62, J22
Key words: gender ratio, market hours, subsidies on family care, taxes, home production, marketization
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Policy Hub leverages the expertise of Atlanta Fed economists and researchers to address issues of broad policy interest. Our research centers coordinate this work and seek to influence policy discussions. Areas of interest include: forecasting, fiscal policy, and macroeconomics (Center for Quantitative Economic Research); financial stability, innovation, and regulation (Center for Financial Innovation and Stability); human capital, labor markets, health, and education (Center for Human Capital Studies); and government-sponsored entity reform, mortgage markets, and affordable housing (Center for Housing and Policy). Sign up for email updates. Under "Publications" select "Policy Hub."