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A Quantitative Analysis of Female Employment in Senegal

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Female-to-male employment in Senegal increased by 14 percentage points between 2006 and 2011. During the same period years of education of the working age population increased 27 percent for females and 13 percent for males, reducing gender gaps in education. In this paper, we quantitatively investigate the impact of this increase in education on female employment in Senegal. To that end, we build an overlapping generations model that captures barriers that women face over their life-cycle. Our main findings are: (i) the improvement in years of education can explain up to 44 percent of the observed increased in female-to-male employment ratio and (ii) the rest can be explained by a decline in the discrimination against women in the labor market.