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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.

Key findings:

  1. 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.
  2. Cross-country differences in taxes and social subsidies on family care can help explain the differences of the gender ratio in market hours.
  3. 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


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