Christopher Hitchens, one of the greatest public intellectuals of the last four decades, famously said 'The only way for any country to get out of poverty is the empowerment of women'. Everyone at ISET would no doubt agree with him – Professor Norberto Pignatti in particular, whose latest publication examines how increasing women's participation in the labor force is important for sustainable economic development in transition countries.
Professor Pignatti, one of ISET's most prolific faculty members, had his research paper published by IZA World of Labor, an online platform dedicated to labor market issues. The organization seeks to support evidence-based policymaking and increase general awareness of labor market matters – most recently, IZA has focused on the potential impact and outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Norberto's work, he critically reviews the existing literature on the topic in a systematic manner and identifies the policies that appear to be best suited to increase female labor force participation in transition countries. As he himself explains:
'The share of women in the labor force in many transition countries is now lower than it was at the beginning of the transition from central planning to market economies. This problem has a particularly serious repercussion because fertility rates are falling and populations are aging, further shrinking the labor force. The experience of transition countries reveals that policies to expand women's access to higher education are not enough to ensure higher participation. Also needed are a broad set of reforms to help women achieve a better work-life balance and to encourage expansion in working opportunities.'
ISET is, as always, very proud of Norberto and pleased that one of the institute's longest-serving faculty members continues to break new ground.