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Labor Shortages Despite Underemployment? Seasonality in Time Use in Malawi

Author

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  • Wodon, Quentin
  • Beegle, Kathleen

Abstract

Evidence for Malawi and other developing countries suggests the existence of labor shortages at the peak of the cropping season, with negative impacts on the ability of households to make the most of their endowments such as land. At the same time, for most of the year, there is substantial underemployment, especially in rural areas. It could therefore be argued that seasonality in the demand for labor is leading to both underemployment and labor shortages. This paper provides basic descriptive data from a 2004 nationally representative household survey to assess the typical workload of the population. The data confirm the presence of strong seasonality effects in the supply of labor, as well as substantial differences in workload between men and women due to the burden of domestic work, including the time spent for collecting water and wood.

Suggested Citation

  • Wodon, Quentin & Beegle, Kathleen, 2006. "Labor Shortages Despite Underemployment? Seasonality in Time Use in Malawi," MPRA Paper 11083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11083
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11083/1/MPRA_paper_11083.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Beegle, Kathleen, 2005. "Labor Effects of Adult Mortality in Tanzanian Households," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 655-683, April.
    2. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
    3. M. M. Pitt & S. R. Khandker, 2002. "Credit Programmes for the Poor and Seasonality in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 1-24.
    4. Quentin Wodon & Elena Bardasi, 2006. "Measuring Time Poverty and Analyzing its Determinants: Concepts and Application to Guinea," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(12), pages 1-7.
    5. Sunil Kanwar, 2004. "Seasonality and Wage Responsiveness in a Developing Agrarian Economy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(2), pages 189-204, May.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2006:i:12:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Channing Arndt & Karl Pauw & James Thurlow, 2016. "The Economy-wide Impacts and Risks of Malawi's Farm Input Subsidy Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(3), pages 962-980.
    2. repec:ilo:ilowps:461444 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Quentin Wodon & Elena Bardasi, 2006. "Measuring Time Poverty and Analyzing its Determinants: Concepts and Application to Guinea," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(12), pages 1-7.
    4. Arndt, Channing & Pauw, Karl & Thurlow, James, 2014. "The economywide impacts and risks of Malawi.s farm input subsidy programme," WIDER Working Paper Series 099, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Elena Bardasi & Quentin Wodon, 2010. "Working Long Hours and Having No Choice: Time Poverty in Guinea," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 45-78.
    6. Bardasi, Elena & Wodon, Quentin, 2006. "Poverty Reduction from Full Employment: A Time Use Approach," MPRA Paper 11084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:76:y:2018:i:c:p:8-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yuta Masuda & Lea Fortmann & Mary Gugerty & Marla Smith-Nilson & Joseph Cook, 2014. "Pictorial Approaches for Measuring Time Use in Rural Ethiopia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 467-482, January.
    9. David Lawson, 2008. "Infrastructure And Time Poverty In Lesotho," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(1), pages 77-88, March.
    10. Wodon, Quentin & Ying, Yvonne, 2010. "Domestic Work Time in Sierra Leone," MPRA Paper 27736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Swaminathan, Hema & Salcedo Du Bois, Rodrigo & Findeis, Jill L., 2010. "Impact of Access to Credit on Labor Allocation Patterns in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 555-566, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time use; labor supply; poverty; intrahousehold allocation; seasonality;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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