Taryn Dinkelman, Liwa Rachel Ngai, 17 February 2022

The entry of women into the labour force is central to the ongoing structural transformation of African economies. This column uses detailed time-use data to document the scale and nature of female participation in both unpaid work in the home and paid work in the market. While female labour force participation is high, most hours continue to be worked in the home, on tasks such as cooking and cleaning, rather than in the market. This suggests an important role for policy to address both technological and cultural barriers to paid market work for women. 

Liwa Rachel Ngai, 18 January 2022

As an economy develops, more women take jobs outside the home. To what extent is this change happening in Africa, what factors slow this transformation down, and what could encourage it?

Read more about this research and download the free DP:
Dinkelman, T and Ngai, L. 2021. 'Time Use and Gender in Africa in Times of Structural Transformation'. CEPR

Andrea Ichino, Martin Olsson, Barbara Petrongolo, Peter Skogman Thoursie, 11 September 2019

Gender identity norms are possible drivers of persistent gender inequalities in the labour market, but the extent to which such norms restrict the behaviour of couples is debated. This column examines how households in Sweden changed their allocation of home production in response to the introduction of a tax credit that altered the marginal tax rates (and the relative take-home pay) in different ways for spouses in couples. It finds that immigrant couples, who tend to come from countries with more traditional gender norms than Sweden, responded more strongly to a reduction in the husband’s tax rate than the wife’s. By not responding to wives’ tax cuts, these couples may forgo as much as £2,000 per year in household disposable income.

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