Estimating the impact of structural reforms to increase the female participation rate in Malta (2018)

Brian Micallef


Malta registered the largest increase in the female participation rate among European countries since 2008. This increase was driven by various policy initiatives aimed to attract more females to the labour market but also by the changing role of women in society. Furthermore, at 53.8% in 2015, the female participation rate in Malta still remains relatively low by European standards, suggesting further catching-up potential. The trend increase in participation, driven mostly by females, is estimated to have contributed, on average, to 0.8 percentage points per annum to Malta's potential GDP between 2008 and 2015. The impact of reforms is calculated by adjusting the post-2008 participation rate to long run trends in Maltese society, as well as using a cohort model that accounts for the changing demographics and education attainment of the workforce. The median impact of the estimates presented in this paper suggests that around half of the increase in the female participation rate is attributable to reforms. These reforms are estimated to have raised potential GDP growth in Malta by around 0.3 percentage point per annum between 2008 and 2015.

International Journal of Social Science Studies, Vol. 6, No. 8,