Measuring the Economic Costs of Women’s Exclusion and the Benefits from Closing Gender Gaps: Evidence from a Macrosimulation Model
Wendy Cunningham1, Sarika Gupta1, Mitja Delbono1, Mahesh Karra2, Joshua Wilde3
1World Bank, 2Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, 3Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Women substantially contribute to economic activity, both formally in the labor market, as well as through work ignored by traditional GDP estimates.  In this study, we develop a macrosimulation model of the Gender Dividend -- or the increase in economic activity resulting from women becoming more equal.  Specifically, using data from Liberia we first estimate the economic contributions that women make, including contributions that are made from undertaking unpaid and informal work. We then predict the potential economic contributions that women would be able to make if there were equality of opportunity and capability by gender across a range of key factors, including educational attainment, labor force participation, wages, and others. Our results indicate that 50.1 percent of economic production is by women. Moreover, our model results estimate that GDP per capita in Liberia would be 23.6 percent higher if gender gaps across the factor inputs in our model were closed.