The Impact of Economic Growth on Female Labour Force Participation: Evidence from Southern African Countries

Authors

  • Nthabeleng lillian Moshoeshoe University of International Business and Economics
  • Dr. Baorong Yu University of International Business and Economics

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18533/job.v7i01.247

Keywords:

Economic growth, female labor force participation, geographic locations, feminization U-Hypothesis

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of economic growth on female labor force participation in Southern Africa, testing the feminization U-shaped Hypothesis. The paper drew from the fact that there is conflicting empirical evidence about the existence of the U-shaped relationship between economic growth and female labor force participation. We argue that cross-country predictions of the U-shaped hypothesis in Southern Africa can give a balanced reflection of the nexus when the region’s uniqueness and diversity are incorporated. This kind of investigation may not only help in finding compatible actionable policies to upsurge female labour force participation, but also promote evidence-based policies for the economic empowerment of women in Southern Africa. Based on the panel threshold and fixed effect model on 15 SADC countries over the period 2000–2018, the findings confirm the U-shaped relationship between growth and female labor force participation in Southern Africa. But the U disappears in the Islands when data is disaggregated according to geographic regions within Southern Africa i.e. (Islands, landlocked, and not landlocked/with coastline countries). The study recommends that the analysis of economic growth and female labor force participation nexus in Southern Africa should consider the importance of geographic locations. This is especially critical since female labour force participation in parts of SADC like the islands and landlocked countries may be influenced by challenges that are geographically inherent to them.   

References

Altuzarra, A, Gálvez-Gálvez, C, and González-Flores, A. (2019) "Economic Development and Female Labour Force Participation: The Case of European Union Countries," Sustainability, 11(7), 1962.

Aaronson, Daniel, Rajeev Dehejia, Andrew Jordan, Cristian Pop-Eleches, Cyrus Samii, and Karl Schulze (2017) “The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply over the Last Two Centuries,” NBER Working Paper 23,717.

African Development Bank (2015), " Africa Gender Index: Empowering African Women: An Agenda for Action," African Development Group, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 2015.

, accessed December, 2020.

__________________(2019), "Africa’s Development Context," <https://www.afdb.org/en/annual-report/financial-report/africas-development-context>, accessed November, 2020.

Becker, G.S. (1992) "Fertility and the economy," Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 5, No. 3, 185-201.

Chapman, K. A. (2015) "Economic development and female labor force participation in the Middle East and North Africa: a test of the U-shape hypothesis," Gettysburg Economic Review, 8(1), 3.

Chilonda, Pius and Minde, Isaac (2007) "Agricultural growth trends in Southern Africa," The ReSAKSS-SA, Policy Brief No.1, May 2007.

Evans, A. (2016) "The Decline of the Male Breadwinner and Persistence of the Female Carer: Exposure, Interests, and Micro–Macro Interactions," Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 106(5), 1135-1151.

Gaddis, I. and Klasen, S. (2013) "Economic Development, Structural Change and Women’s Labor Force Participation: A Reexamination of the Feminization U Hypothesis," Journal of Population Economics.

Gaddis, I. and S. Klasen (2014) "Economic Development, Structural Change, and Women’s Labor Force Participation: A Re-Examination of the Feminization U Hypothesis," Journal of Population Economics, 27(3), 639-681.

Goldin, C. (1994) The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History, In Investment in Women’s Human Capital and Economic Development, edited by T. P. Schultz, 61– 90. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gonzales, M. C., Jain-Chandra, S., Kochhar, M. K., & Newiak, M. M. (2015) "Fair Play: More Equal Laws Boost Female Labor Force Participation," International Monetary Fund.

International Labour Organisation (2016), "Facing the growing unemployment challenges in Africa," <http://www.ilo.org/addisababa/media-centre/pr/WCMS_444474/lang-en/index.htm> accessed December, 2016.

_____________________________(2018), "World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018: Global Snapshot" <http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_619577.pdf>, accessed January 2019.

Jaumotte, F. (2003) "Female labor force participation: Past trends and main determinants in OECD Countries," Economics Department Working Paper, No. 376, OECD, Paris.

Klasen, S. (2019) "What Explains Uneven Female Labor Force Participation Levels and Trends in Developing Countries?" The World Bank Research Observer, Volume 34, Issue 2, August 2019, Pages 161–197.

Lahoti, R., and Swaminathan, H. (2013), “Economic growth and female labor force participation in India,” Working paper, no. 414, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Lahoti, R., and Swaminathan, H. (2016), "Economic development and women's labor force participation in India," Feminist Economics, 22(2), 168-195.

Lechman, E., and Kaur, H., (2015) “Economic Growth and Female Labor Force Participation – Verifying the U-Feminization Hypothesis: new Evidence for 162 Countries over the Period 1990-2012”, Economics and Sociology, 8(1), pp. 246-257.

Luci, A. (2009) "Female labour market participation and economic growth," International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 4(2), 97-108.

Micevska. (2001) Economic Disruption, Malthusian Fertility and Economic Growth, Economic Studies Program, Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution.

Psacharopoulos, George and Zaliris Tzannatos. (1989) "Female Labor Force Participationt An International Perspective," The World Bank Research Observer 4 (July): 187-202.

Tansel, A. (2002) "Economic Development and Female Labor Force Participation in Turkey: Time Series Evidence and Cross-Province Estimates," Working Papers in Economics, ERC—Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University: Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey.

Tasseven, Ozlem., Altas, Dilek., and ÜN, Turgut. (2016) "The Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation for OECD Countries," International Journal of Economic Studies, May 2016, Vol: 2, Issue: 2.

Tilly, L.A. and Scott, J.W. (1987) Women, Work and Family, Routledge: New York, NY, USA.

Tsani, S.; Paroussos, L.; Fragiadakis, C.; Charalambidis, I.; Capros, P. (2013) "Female Labor Force Participation and Economic Growth in the South Mediterranean countries," Econ. Lett., 323–328.

Sackey, H. A. (2005) "Female Labour Force Participation in Ghana: The Effects of Education," AERC Research Paper, No. 150. Nairobi: African Economic Research Consortium.

Southern African Development Community (2012), "Women Economic Empowerment," <https://www.sadc.int/issues/gender/women-economic-empowerment-programme/> accessed September, 2019.

Southern African Development Community (2016), "Statistics Year Book 2016," <https://www.sadc.int/about-sadc/overview/sadc-facts-figures/>, accessed December 2019

Southern African Development Community (2018), "Selected Economic and Social Indicators," <https://www.sadc.int/files/7315/0996/2411/SADC>, accessed January 2019.

Southern African Development Community (2019), "Selected Economic and Social Indicators" <https://www.sadc.int/index.php/download_file/view/8064/462> accessed December 2020.

Southern African Development Community (2016), "Gender and Development Monitor 2016," < https://www.sadc.int/issues/gender/sadc-gender-and-development-monitor-2016/>, accessed December 2019.

Southern Africa Trust Report (2018), "Experiences and Challenges of Women in the SADC Region: The Case of Trade and Agricultural Sector January 2018,"

<https://media.africaportal.org/documents/Experiences_and_challenges_of_women_in_SADC.pdf>, accessed December 2020.

Verick, S. (2014) "Female Labour Force Participation in Developing Countries," IZA World of Labor 214:87.

Verme, Paolo (2014) “Economic Development and Female Labor Participation in the Middle East and North Africa: A Test of the U-Shape Hypothesis,” World Bank: Washington, DC, USA.

World Bank (2016), "World Bank Development Indicators," . <http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/worlddevelopment indicators>, accessed December, 2019.

Wyrwich, Michael. (2019) “Historical and Current Spatial Differences in Female Labour Force Participation: Evidence from Germany,” Papers in Regional Science 98 (1): 211–39.

World Bank (2016), "World Bank Development Indicators," <http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/worlddevelopment indicators>, accessed February 17, 2016).

World Bank (2018), "Women, Business and the Law," <http://wbl.worldbank.org/> accessed December 2018.

Yakubu, Y.A. (2010) "Factors influencing female labor force participation in South Africa in 2008," African Statistical Journal statistique africain, 86, p.85.

Downloads

Published

2022-03-24