How Costly are Labor Gender Gaps? Estimates by Age Group for the Balkans and Turkey


32 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2017

See all articles by David Cuberes

David Cuberes

University of Sheffield

Marc Teignier

University of Barcelona

Date Written: November 25, 2017


In this paper, survey data are used to document the presence of gender gaps in self-employment, employership, and labor force participation in seven Balkan countries and Turkey. The paper examines the quantitative effects of the gender gaps on aggregate productivity and income per capita in these countries. In the model used to carry out this calculation, agents choose between being workers, self-employed, or employers, and women face several restrictions in the labor market. The data display very large gaps in labor force participation and in the percentage of employers and self-employed in the labor force. In almost all cases, these gaps reveal a clear underrepresentation of women. The calculations show that, on average, the loss associated with these gaps is about 17 percent of income per capita. One-third of this loss is due to distortions in the choice of occupations between men and women. The remaining two-thirds corresponds to the costs associated with gaps in labor force participation. The dimensions of these gender gaps and their associated costs vary considerably across ages groups, with the age bracket 36–50 years being responsible for most of the losses.

Keywords: gender inequality, entrepreneurship talent, factor allocation, aggregate productivity, span of control, Balkans, Turkey

JEL Classification: E2, J21, J24, O40

Suggested Citation

Cuberes, David and Teignier, Marc, How Costly are Labor Gender Gaps? Estimates by Age Group for the Balkans and Turkey (November 25, 2017). XREAP2017-10. Available at SSRN: or

David Cuberes

University of Sheffield ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT


Marc Teignier (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona ( email )

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585
Barcelona, 08007

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