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Bargaining to work: the effect of female autonomy on female labour supply

Author

Listed:
  • Chloé van Biljon

    () (Department of Economics and ReSEP, Stellenbosch University)

  • Dieter von Fintel

    () (Department of Economics and ReSEP, Stellenbosch University)

  • Atika Pasha

    () (Department of Economics, University of Mannheim)

Abstract

Female labour supply is an important outcome for measuring gender equality and is therefore regarded as one of the key indicators for women's empowerment. The empowerment of women through greater labour force participation is well documented in the literature. We argue, however, that the relationship between female labour force participation and empowerment is endogenous. We instead turn our attention to understanding whether greater female household autonomy causes participation in the labour market in the first place. Using the roll out of banking cards associated with the South African government cash transfers as an exogenous shock, we show that financial inclusion improves women's decision making power in the household. In response to this redistribution of bargaining power in the household, we provide evidence of increased female labour force participation. Our results show that becoming a primary decision maker leads to a 92 percentage point increase in the probability that women participate in the labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Chloé van Biljon & Dieter von Fintel & Atika Pasha, 2018. "Bargaining to work: the effect of female autonomy on female labour supply," Working Papers 04/2018, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers297
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Female labour force participation; SASSA cards; female autonomy; non-cooperative household bargaining model; South Africa; NIDS;

    JEL classification:

    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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