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Labor Force Participation, Gender and Work in South Africa: What Can Time Use Data Reveal?

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  • Maria S. Floro
  • Hitomi Komatsu
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    Abstract

    The utilization of time use data for exploring employment issues has received little attention in economic analysis. Using data from the 2000 South African national time use survey we argue that a gender-aware understanding of how men and women organize their daily life can help identify labor market and subsistence work that are missed in labor force surveys, thus complementing the information they provide. Further, information on the time spent in jobrelated search and household work provide insights on the interconnectedness of gender inequalities in the labor market and within the household. Our analysis of the time use patterns of 10,465 working age women and men, shows that a non-trivial proportion of men and women classified as either "not in the labor force" or "unemployed" actually engaged in subsistence, temporary and casual forms of employment. Secondly, we find that regardless of their labor force status, women's and men's hours of unpaid work donot vary greatly. These affect not only employment options of women but also their ability to look for work. Thirdly, time use data helps identify the salient characteristics of these individuals and the type of occupations they are engaged in.

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    File URL: http://www.american.edu/cas/economics/pdf/upload/2011-2.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by American University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-02.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2011-02

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    Web page: http://www.american.edu/cas/economics/

    Related research

    Keywords: time allocation; gender; labor force participation; South Africa JEL Codes: E24; J22;

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    1. Davies, Rob & Thurlow, James, 2009. "Formal-informal economy linkages and unemployment in South Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 943, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2005. "Unemployment in South Africa, 1995-2003: Causes, Problems and Policies," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-010, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zo� McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008. "Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
    5. Adato, Michelle & Lund, Francie & Mhlongo, Phakama, 2007. "Methodological Innovations in Research on the Dynamics of Poverty: A Longitudinal Study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 247-263, February.
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