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Ladies first ? firm-level evidence on the labor impacts of the East Asian crisis

  • Hallward-Driemeier, Mary
  • Rijkers, Bob
  • Waxman, Andrew

In a crisis, do employers place the burden of adjustment disproportionately on female employees? Relying on household and labor force data, existing studies of the distributional impact of crises have not been able to address this question. This paper uses Indonesia's census of manufacturing firms to analyze employer responses and to identify mechanisms by which gender differences in impact may arise, notably differential treatment of men and women within firms as well as gender sorting across firms that varied in their exposure to the crisis. On average, women experienced higher job losses than their male colleagues within the same firm. However, the aggregate adverse effect of such differential treatment was more than offset by women being disproportionately employed in firms hit relatively less hard by the crisis. The null hypothesis that there were no gender differences in wage adjustment is not rejected. Analyzing how employer characteristics impact labor market adjustment patterns contributes to the understanding of who is vulnerable in volatile times.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5789.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5789
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  1. Duncan Thomas & James P. Smith & Kathleen Beegle & Graciela Teruel & Elizabeth Frankenberg, 2002. "Wages, employment and economic shocks: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 161-193.
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  3. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Rijkers, Bob, 2011. "Do crises catalyze creative destruction ? firm-level evidence from Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5869, The World Bank.
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  14. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J. & Levine, David I., 2008. "Financial constraints on investment in an emerging market crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 568-591, April.
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  17. Rama, Martin, 2001. "The gender implications of public sector downsizing : the reform program of Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2573, The World Bank.
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