Análisis de los Cambios en la Participación Laboral Femenina en Chile

Evelyn Benvin, Marcela Perticara


This paper applies microeconometric decomposition techniques with the purpose of assessing the determinants of the significant increase in the female labor force participation rate experienced during the period 1990-2003. In particular, we are interested in evaluating how much of the increase in the female participation rate can be explained by changes in the family structure or changes in the educational level achieved, and how much of this change is completely neutral to these factors. The increase in the education level of the female population is, without a doubt, one of the main determinants of the increase in the labor force participation rate. Surprisingly, changes in fertility do not seem to have a significant impact on the female participation rate. We didn’t even find a parameter effect indicating that the patterns of the participation (elasticity) of women with small children would have changed substantially. Most of the parameter effect is due to a constant effect, which is particularly high during the period 1996-2003. That is, independently of the characteristics of the women, there is a generalized increase in the female labor force participation rate. This result is robust when controls for business cycles are included.

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