Ganyu Labour in Malawi: Understanding Rural Households’ Labour Supply Strategies
AbstractIn Malawi, informal off-farm labour (ganyu) has often been described as a survival strategy which eventually drives poor rural households into even further destitution. Based on data from the Second Integrated Household Survey for 2004, we estimate the determinants of the decision to supply labour in the ganyu market and the amount of labour supplied. Our results do not support the conjecture that ganyu is necessarily a low-return strategy that confines subsistence constrained households to a vicious circle of poverty. However, we do find evidence that ganyu is used as an ex-post coping strategy in the event of shocks, and as an ex-ante social insurance mechanism. Moreover, we generally find a positive reaction of ganyu supply to an increase in the ganyu wages, and no evidence of any backward bending segment of the supply curve for households close to the subsistence level. While ganyu does not appear to drive poor households into further destitution, these households do seem to suffer the most when they face demand side constraints in times of greatest needs. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 with number 29.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
rural labor supply; insurance strategies; poverty; Malawi;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2010-09-25 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2010-09-25 (Development)
- NEP-IAS-2010-09-25 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2010-09-25 (Labour Economics)
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- Günther Fink & B. Kelsey Jack & Felix Masiye, 2014. "Seasonal Credit Constraints and Agricultural Labor Supply: Evidence from Zambia," NBER Working Papers 20218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde & Alice Mesnard & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2014. "Nutrition, information, and household behaviour: experimental evidence from Malawi," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W14/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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