Egyptian men working abroad: Labour supply responses by the women left behind
Female labour force participation has remained low in Egypt. This paper examines whether male international migration provides a leeway for women to enter the labour market and/or to increase their labour supply. In line with previous studies, we find a decrease in wage work particularly in urban areas. However, women living in rural areas and affected by migration are much more likely to be employed in non-wage activities (i.e. unpaid family work) and subsistence work compared to women in non-migrant households. Furthermore, we find evidence that this labour supply response is driven by the household's need to replace the migrant's labour rather than by a loosening of a financing constraint on family enterprises made possible by the flow of remittances.
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