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How much of the labor in African agriculture is provided by women ?

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  • Palacios-Lopez,Amparo
  • Christiaensen,Luc
  • Kilic,Talip
  • Palacios-Lopez,Amparo
  • Christiaensen,Luc
  • Kilic,Talip

Abstract

The contribution of women to labor in African agriculture is regularly quoted in the range of 60 to 80 percent. Using individual-disaggregated, plot-level labor input data from nationally representative household surveys across six Sub-Saharan African countries, this study estimates the average female labor share in crop production at 40 percent. It is slightly above 50 percent in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda, and substantially lower in Nigeria (37 percent), Ethiopia (29 percent), and Niger (24 percent). There are no systematic differences across crops and activities, but female labor shares tend to be higher in households where women own a larger share of the land and when they are more educated. Controlling for the gender and knowledge profile of the respondents does not meaningfully change the predicted female labor shares. The findings question prevailing assertions regarding substantial gains in aggregate crop output as a result of increasing female agricultural productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Palacios-Lopez,Amparo & Christiaensen,Luc & Kilic,Talip & Palacios-Lopez,Amparo & Christiaensen,Luc & Kilic,Talip, 2015. "How much of the labor in African agriculture is provided by women ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7282, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7282
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kilic, Talip & Palacios-López, Amparo & Goldstein, Markus, 2015. "Caught in a Productivity Trap: A Distributional Perspective on Gender Differences in Malawian Agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 416-463.
    2. Carol B. Thompson, 2012. "Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA): advancing the theft of African genetic wealth," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(132), pages 345-350, June.
    3. Arturo Aguilar & Eliana Carranza & Markus Goldstein & Talip Kilic & Gbemisola Oseni, 2015. "Decomposition of gender differentials in agricultural productivity in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 311-334, May.
    4. Dillon, Brian & Barrett, Christopher B., 2017. "Agricultural factor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: An updated view with formal tests for market failure," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 64-77.
    5. Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein, 2014. "Are Rural Youth in Ethiopia Abandoning Agriculture?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 259-272.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate Change and Agriculture; Crops and Crop Management Systems; Gender and Development; Food Security; Livestock and Animal Husbandry; Inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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