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

Author

Listed:
  • Maria S. Floro
  • Hitomi Komatsu

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria S. Floro & Hitomi Komatsu, 2011. "Labor Force Participation, Gender and Work in South Africa: What Can Time Use Data Reveal?," Working Papers 2011-02, American University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2011-02
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    File URL: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eCA6tgqephioOqYlFlZhJsWqAjilC7FK
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Rob Davies & James Thurlow, 2010. "Formal–Informal Economy Linkages And Unemployment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 78(4), pages 437-459, December.
    4. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    5. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2007. "Unemployment in South Africa, 1995--2003: Causes, Problems and Policies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 813-848, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meurs, Mieke & Slavchevska, Vanya, 2014. "Doing it all: Women’s employment and reproductive work in Tajikistan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 786-803.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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