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Time use and gender in Africa in times of structural transformation

Dinkelman, Taryn and Ngai, L. Rachel (2022) Time use and gender in Africa in times of structural transformation. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 36 (1). 57 - 80. ISSN 0895-3309

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Identification Number: 10.1257/jep.36.1.57

Abstract

Many African countries are still in the early stages of structural transformation. Typically, as economies move through the structural transformation, activities once conducted within the household are outsourced to the market. This has particular implications for women's time use. In this paper, we document that current patterns of female time use in home production in several African countries closely resemble historical time use patterns in the Untied States. We highlight two stylized facts about women's time use in Africa. First, in North Africa, women spend very few hours in market work and female labor force participation overall is extremely low. Second, although extensive margin participation of women is high in sub-Saharan Africa, women tend to work in the market for only a few hours each week, with the rest of their work hours spent in home production. These two facts suggest two different types of constraints that could slow down the reallocation of female time from home to market as economies grow: social norms related to women's market work, and a lack of infrastructure (e.g., household infrastructure and childcare facilities) to facilitate marketizing home production. We discuss recent empirical evidence related to each set of constraints and highlight new avenues for research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/jep
Additional Information: © 2022 American Economic Association
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D13 - Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
G - Financial Economics > G3 - Corporate Finance and Governance > G32 - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J16 - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q1 - Agriculture > Q12 - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2021 10:33
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 18:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/112936

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