This paper offers for the first time a global picture of gender discrimination by the law as it affects women's economic opportunity and charts the evolution of legal inequalities over five decades. Using the World Bank's newly constructed Women, Business and the Law database, we document large and persistent gender inequalities, especially with regard to pay and treatment of parenthood. We find positive correlations between more equal laws pertaining to women in the workforce and more equal labor market outcomes, such as higher female labor force participation and a smaller wage gap between men and women.


Hyland, Marie, Simeon Djankov, and Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg. 2020. "Gendered Laws and Women in the Workforce." American Economic Review: Insights, 2 (4): 475-90. https://doi.org/10.1257/aeri.20190542