Women in the Legislature's Impact on Economic Growth and Women's Labor Force Participation

Ashley Docherty, University of Texas at El Paso


This thesis analyzes whether women in the legislature improve economic growth and women’s participation in the labor force. The number of women in national legislatures and parliaments has increased dramatically in the past thirty years as over half of all countries have implemented gender quota laws. When women join the legislature, government spending on education and healthcare tends to increase. This leads to an increase in economic growth. Economic growth, along with the visibility of women in government, helps more women participate in the labor force. Women in government have a descriptive and substantive effect on women’s economic empowerment. This paper uses a worldwide panel dataset from the World Development Indicators from 1990 to 2020 to conduct a regression analysis. Additionally, this paper uses two case studies, Argentina and Costa Rica, to explain the causal relationship of women in the legislature on economic growth and women’s labor force participation rates.

Subject Area

Public policy|Labor economics|Law|Womens studies|Economics

Recommended Citation

Docherty, Ashley, "Women in the Legislature's Impact on Economic Growth and Women's Labor Force Participation" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28262449.