We study whether higher gender equality facilitates economic growth by enabling better allocation of a valuable resource: female labor. By allocating female labor to its more productive use, we hypothesize that reducing gender inequality should disproportionately benefit industries with typically higher female share in their employment relative to other industries. Specifically, we exploit within-country variation across industries to test whether those that typically employ more women grow relatively faster in countries with ex-ante lower gender inequality. The test allows us to identify the causal effect of gender inequality on industry growth in value-added and labor productivity. Our findings show that gender inequality affects real economic outcomes.
This Selected Issues paper aims at providing an empirical underpinning to fiscal policy reforms implemented by the authorities by estimating the size of fiscal multipliers in Cameroon, using a novel long quarterly data set and looking separately at the impact of changes in revenue, and government consumption and investment. The impact of government spending and taxes depends on country characteristics and the stage of the business cycle. The analysis shows that revenue and capital expenditure multipliers in Cameroon are small and comparable to those of other sub-Saharan African and low-income countries. The revenue multiplier is close to nil which implies that revenue-based fiscal consolidation would be less harmful to growth in the medium term. Compared to its peers in sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon’s revenue multiplier is smaller as is its tax burden relative to the regional average. Conversely, government expenditure can more significantly affect output in the medium term, although the consumption multiplier is unexpectedly much higher than the investment one.