What Drives Female Labour Force Participation? Comparable Micro-level Evidence from Eight Developing and Emerging Economies

Stephan Klasen, TU THI NGOC Le, Janneke Pieters, Manuel Santos Silva
2020 figshare.com  
We investigate the micro-level determinants of labour force participation of urban married women in eight low- and middle-income economies: Bolivia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Jordan, South Africa, Tanzania, and Vietnam. In order to understand what drives changes and differences in participation rates since the early 2000s, we build a unified empirical framework that allows for comparative analyses across time and space. We find that the returns to the characteristics of women and their families
more » ... and their families differ substantially across countries, and this explains most of the between-country differences in participation rates. Overall, the economic, social, and institutional constraints that shape women's labour force participation remain largely country-specific. Nonetheless, rising education levels and declining fertility consistently increased participation rates, while rising household incomes contributed negatively in relatively poorer countries, suggesting that a substantial share of women work out of economic necessity.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.12848447 fatcat:2ogqagnkjzaw3b4ac3r4pxrxue