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Does Off-farm Employment Make Women in Rural Senegal Happy?

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  • VAN DEN BROECK, Goedele
  • MAERTENS, Miet

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the impact of female wage employment in the Senegalese horticultural export industry on women’s wellbeing. We use a subjective wellbeing approach, based on self-reported happiness, to capture both income and non-income aspects of employment. We use original household- and individual-level survey data from the Saint-Louis region in Senegal and an instrumental variable approach. We find that female employment improves subjective wellbeing for the poorest women but not for women whose household income has moved well beyond the poverty threshold. Female employment improves women´s happiness through an income effect, as female employment leads to higher income levels and improved living standards, but the non-income effects of female employment reduce women’s happiness. This negative effect is related to a higher workload, low job satisfaction and changing gender roles. The positive income effect outweighs these negative non-income effects for poor women but not for relatively richer women.

Suggested Citation

  • VAN DEN BROECK, Goedele & MAERTENS, Miet, 2015. "Does Off-farm Employment Make Women in Rural Senegal Happy?," Working Papers 232593, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:kucawp:232593
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    Keywords

    female employment; subjective wellbeing; globalization; Senegal; Sub-Saharan Africa; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development; International Development; International Relations/Trade; Labor and Human Capital; Production Economics; E24; I31; O12;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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