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Forced Migration, Female Labor Force Participation, and Intra-household Bargaining: Does Conflict EmpowerWomen?


  • Valentina Calderón


  • Margarita Gáfaro


  • Ana María Ibáñez



Civilian displacement is a common phenomenon in developing countries confrontedwith internal conflict. While displacement directly affects forced migrants, it also contributes to deteriorating labor conditions of vulnerable groups in receiving communities. For the displaced population, the income losses are substantial, and asthey migrate to cities, they usually end up joining the informal labor force. Qualitative evidence reveals that displaced women are better suited to compete in urban labor markets, as their labor experience is more relevant with respect to certain urban low-skilled occupations. Our study uses this exogenous change in female labor force participation to test how it affects female bargaining power within the household. Our results show that female displaced women work longer hours, earn similar wages and contribute in larger proportions to household earnings relative to rural women whoremain in rural areas. However, as measured by several indicators, their greater contribution to households´ earnings does not strengthen their bargaining power. Most notably, domestic violence have increased among displaced women. The anger and frustration of displaced women also increases the level of violence directed at children. Because the children of displaced families have been the direct victims of conflict and domestic violence, the intra-generational transmission of violence is highly likely.

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  • Valentina Calderón & Margarita Gáfaro & Ana María Ibáñez, 2011. "Forced Migration, Female Labor Force Participation, and Intra-household Bargaining: Does Conflict EmpowerWomen?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 008912, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:008912

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ali Fakih & May Ibrahim, 2016. "The impact of Syrian refugees on the labor market in neighboring countries: empirical evidence from Jordan," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 64-86, February.
    2. Juan S. Morales, 2016. "The Impact of Internal Displacement on Destination Communities: Evidence from the Colombian Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 209, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Nutrition, Governance and Violence: A Framework for the Analysis of Resilience and Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Contexts of Violent Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 132, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," Working Papers 0114, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    5. Patricia Justino & Ivan Cardona & Rebecca Mitchell & Catherine Müller, 2012. "Quantifying the Impact of Women’s Participation in Post-Conflict Economic Recovery," HiCN Working Papers 131, Households in Conflict Network.
    6. Selim Gulesci, 2017. "Forced migration and attitudes towards domestic violence: Evidence from Turkey," WIDER Working Paper Series 110, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item


    Forced migration; female labor participation; intra-household bargaining; domestic violence.;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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