Developing Country Superwomen: Impacts of Trade Liberalisation on Female Market and Domestic Work
This study analyses the effects of trade liberalisation on male and female work in Nepal. Our contribution is principally based upon the leisure activities modeling on one hand, and the effects of male participation in domestic work with trade policy analysis on the other hand. While previous studies explicitly incorporate leisure activities that required data about which little is known, we use a microeconomic model and alternative calibration procedures to avoid arbitrariness. The experiment conducted in this study shows that the complete elimination of tariffs on imported goods in Nepal benefits women more than men in terms of earnings as their wage increases relatively to men. Generally, female market work expands in rural households and contracts in urban households. It appears that the entrance into market production has not been met with an equivalent reduction in the time they spend in domestic work. Consequently the leisure time of women declines as they enter the labor market. Furthermore, the study indicates that leisure time consumed by men, which is already greater than that consumed by women, increases with trade reform. The extend of male participation in domestic work significantly conditions the impacts on male and female wage rates and household labor supply decisions. When male participation in domestic work activities is low, women generally devote less time to market labor. However, their contribution to household income strill increases following trade reform as their wage rates rise relative to male market wage rates. Women are more responsive to the market when there is greatest scope to substitute between female domestic and market work, as occurs when men are more involved in domestic work. However, even in these cases their domestic work does not necessarily decrease in the same proportion.
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