Allocation of Female Talent and Cross-Country Productivity Differences
40 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2015 Last revised: 24 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 1, 2016
The disparities in cross-country labor productivity are greater in agriculture than in other industries. I propose that the misallocation of female talent across sectors distorts productivity. I formalize the theory by using a general equilibrium Roy model with gender-specific frictions. If female workers experience higher frictions in non-agricultural sectors, then unproductive female workers will select into agricultural sector. From a sample of 69 countries, I find that low-income countries have higher frictions in non-agricultural industries. By setting frictions to US levels, agricultural labor productivity increases by 20.6 percent and GDP per capita increases by 6.0 percent, primarily in low-income countries.
Keywords: misallocation, gender, occupational choice, productivity
JEL Classification: J24, J31, O11, O13, O47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation