Caught in a productivity trap: a distributional perspective on gender differences in Malawian agriculture
AbstractIn targeting poverty gains, sub-Saharan African governments have emphasized the alleviation of gender differences in agricultural productivity. The empirical studies on the gender gap, however, have frequently used data that were limited regarding geographic and topical coverage, and/or details on intra-household dynamics. The study provides a nationally-representative analysis of the gender gap in Malawi, and decomposes it, for the first time, at the mean and at selected points of the agricultural productivity distribution into (i) a portion driven by gender differences in levels of observable attributes (the endowment effect), and (ii) a portion driven by gender differences in returns to the same set of observables (the structure effect). Sequentially, the authors unpack the relative contributions of different factors towards the gender gap, and suggest future research priorities to inform policy interventions. The authors find that while female-managed plots are, on average, 25 percent less productive, 82 percent of this differential is explained by differences in endowments, mainly due to high-value crop cultivation and levels of household adult male labor inputs. The factors driving the structure effect include child dependency ratio and effectiveness of household adult male labor and inorganic fertilizer. The gender gap increases across the productivity distribution, ranging from 22 percent at the 10th percentile to 37 percent at the 90th percentile. While it is explained predominantly by the endowment effect in the first half of the distribution, the contribution of the structure effect towards the gender gap increases steadily above the median, standing at 34 percent at the 90th percentile.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6381.
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Gender and Development; Housing&Human Habitats; Gender and Health; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems; Gender and Law;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-03-16 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2013-03-16 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-03-16 (Demographic Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Akresh, Richard, 2005. "Understanding Pareto Inefficient Intrahousehold Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2010.
"The Developing World Is Poorer Than We Thought, but No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1577-1625, November.
- Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "The developing world is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4703, The World Bank.
- Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
- Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
- Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2005.
"The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana,"
929, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
- Larson, Donald F. & Otsuka, Keijiro & Matsumoto, Tomoya & Kilic, Talip, 2012. "Should African rural development strategies depend on smallholder farms ? an exploration of the inverse productivity hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6190, The World Bank.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000.
"Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools,"
NBER Working Papers
7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
- David Neumark, 1987.
"Employers' discriminatory behavior and the estimation of wage discrimination,"
Special Studies Papers
227, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
- Alene, Arega D. & Manyong, Victor M. & Omanya, Gospel O. & Mignouna, Hodeba D. & Bokanga, Mpoko & Odhiambo, George D., 2008. "Economic Efficiency and Supply Response of Women as Farm Managers: Comparative Evidence from Western Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1247-1260, July.
- Bhaumik, Sumon K. & Dimova, Ralitza & Gang, Ira N., 2014.
"Is Women's Ownership of Land a Panacea in Developing Countries? Evidence from Land-Owning Farm Households in Malawi,"
IZA Discussion Papers
7907, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Sumon K. Bhaumik & Ralitza Dimova & Ira N. Gang, 2013. "Is women's ownership of land a panacea in developing countries? Evidence from land-owning farm households in Malawi," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1055, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Sraboni, Esha & Malapit, Hazel J. & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Ahmed, Akhter U., 2013. "Womenâ€™s empowerment in agriculture: What role for food security in Bangladesh?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1297, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Malapit, Hazel Jean L. & Kadiyala, Suneetha & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Cunningham, Kenda & Tyagi, Parul, 2013. "Womenâ€™s empowerment in agriculture, production diversity, and nutrition: Evidence from Nepal:," IFPRI discussion papers 1313, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.