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The effect of economic crisis on youth precariousness in Nairobi. An analysis of itinerary to adulthood of three generations of men and women

Listed author(s):
  • Alfred O. Agwanda


    (Université de Nairobi)

  • Philippe Bocquier


    (DIAL, IRD)

  • Anne Khasakhala


    (Université de Nairobi)

  • Samuel Owuor


    (Université de Nairobi)

(english) Since the pioneer analysis of the labour market by the ILO team in the early 1970s, the NUrIP, which collected about 1,600 biographies among a sample of the Nairobi adult population, is the first to provide for a comprehensive view of the social, demographic and employment situation of Nairobi. The analyses draw a picture of surprising stability of the process of entry into adult life in Nairobi. The timing of events remains the same and most of the delay experienced by the younger generation can be attributed to the economic crisis of the 90s. The city of Nairobi is first and foremost the main formal labour market in Kenya. This characteristic that traces back into colonial time vastly influences the model of circular migration between the hinterland and the city and also the household and family formation. Whereas employment is clearly the key to entry into adult life for men, it plays a marginal role for women. That might explain why the Nairobi labour market reacted to the economic crisis of the 90s by rejecting females. Gender differences are more striking than differences by generation or by social or geographical origin. Discrimination against women on the Nairobi labour market should be seriously considered as an explanation for their declining labour participation. _________________________________ (français) Depuis l’analyse pionnière sur le marché de l’emploi menée par le BIT au début des années 1970, le NUrIP, qui a recueilli près de 1.600 biographies auprès d’un échantillon de la population adulte de Nairobi, est la première opération à offrir une vue globale de l’emploi et de la situation sociodémographique à Nairobi. Les analyses dressent l’image d’une surprenante stabilité du processus d’entrée dans la vie adulte à Nairobi. Le calendrier des évènements reste le même et le retard peut être expliqué essentiellement par la crise économique des années 1990. La ville de Nairobi joue d’abord et avant tout le rôle du principal marché de l’emploi formel au Kenya. Cette caractéristique, qui remonte aux temps coloniaux, influence considérablement le modèle de migration circulaire entre la ville et l’intérieur du pays, ainsi que la formation des ménages et la constitution de la famille. Alors que l’emploi est clairement la clé d’entrée dans la vie adulte pour les hommes, il joue un rôle marginal pour les femmes. Cela peut expliquer pourquoi le marché de l’emploi de Nairobi a réagi à la crise des années 1990 en rejetant les femmes. Les différences de genre sont plus frappantes que les différences entre générations et selon l’origine géographique ou sociale. Les discriminations envers les femmes sur le marché de l’emploi de Nairobi sont à considérer sérieusement comme une cause du déclin du taux d’activité des femmes.

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Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2004/04.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200404
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  1. Øystein Kravdal, 2000. "A search for aggregate-level effects of education on fertility, using data from Zimbabwe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(3), August.
  2. Van De Walle, E. & Foster, A.D., 1990. "Fertility Decline In Africa; Assessment And Prospects," Papers 125, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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