The effect of women’s identity and emancipative values in female labor force participation: a comparison between Latin American and OECD countries.

Alonso Carriles Álvarez, Jaime Humberto Beltrán Godoy, Leovardo Mata Mata


From the end of the 1990’s and the beginning of the 2000’s, Latin American region experienced the largest female labor force participation growth in the world.  Recent literature (Camou, 2015; Chioda, 2016; Gasparini & Marchionni, 2015; Klasen, 2018; Serrano, Gasparini, Marchionni, & Gluzmann, 2018) conclude that marriage and fertility trends, economic growth and education as important determinants, but agree to the need to analyze women preferences and social factors also as contributing elements.  This study contributes to the literature by studying these two factors in the region, from the viewpoint of Akerlof & Kranton’s (2000) Identity Economic Theory, and Welzel’s (2013b) Emancipative Values Theory.  Exploiting World Values Survey data and European Values Study, this investigation developed a probabilistic regression model where women’s preference towards egalitarian views as workingwoman is analyzed as Women’s Identity, and social constraints upon gender equality is analyzed integrating a Women’s Emancipative Values indicator. This work also compares Latin American countries results with OECD countries to note differences between the groups.  We conclude that Women’s Identity and Women’s Emancipative Value are strong positive statistically significant determinants of FLFP.  When compared with OECD countries, we also conclude that women in the two groups of countries share similar self views as workingwoman, but Latin America still has social constraints at play that are limiting FLFP in the region.


female labor force participation; Latin America; identity economic theory; emancipative values theory; OECD; marriage; fertility; education; World Values Survey; European Values Study; gender equality

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