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

Author

Listed:
  • 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, 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.
    6. Bardasi, Elena & Beegle, Kathleen & Dillon, Andrew & Serneels, Pieter, 2010. "Do labor statistics depend on how and to whom the questions are asked ? results from a survey experiment in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5192, The World Bank.
    7. Jackson, Cecile, 2005. "Strengthening food policy through gender and intrahousehold analysis: impact assessment of IFPRI multicountry research," Impact assessments 23, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Gbemisola Oseni & Paul Corral & Markus Goldstein & Paul Winters, 2015. "Explaining gender differentials in agricultural production in Nigeria," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 285-310, May.
    9. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214.
    10. Vanya Slavchevska, 2015. "Gender differences in agricultural productivity: the case of Tanzania," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 335-355, May.
    11. Backiny-Yetna, Prospere & McGee, Kevin, 2015. "Gender differentials and agricultural productivity in Niger," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7199, The World Bank.
    12. Amparo Palacios-López & Ramón López, 2015. "The Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity: The Role of Market Imperfections," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(9), pages 1175-1192, September.
    13. Davis, Benjamin & Di Giuseppe, Stefania & Zezza, Alberto, 2014. "Income diversification patterns in rural Sub-Saharan Africa : reassessing the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7108, The World Bank.
    14. McCullough, Ellen B., 2017. "Labor productivity and employment gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 133-152.
    15. Palacios-López, Amparo & López, Ramon E., 2014. "Gender Differences in Agricultural Productivity: The Role of Market Imperfections," Working Papers 164061, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing&Human Habitats; Labor Policies; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems; Crops and Crop Management Systems;

    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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