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Female Labor Participation in the Arab World : Some Evidence from Panel Data in Morocco

AGE COHORT CALL COMPLETION RATES COUNTRY STUDIES CREATING JOBS CULTURAL VALUES DESCRIPTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY DIVISION OF LABOUR DRIVERS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIC SHOCKS ECONOMIC STATUS EDUCATED MEN EDUCATED WOMEN EDUCATION LEVEL EDUCATION VARIABLES EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT ELDERLY EMPLOYMENT GENERATION ENROLLMENT RATES FAMILY STRUCTURE FEMALE FEMALE CHILDREN FEMALE EDUCATION FEMALE ENROLLMENT FEMALE LABOR FEMALE LABOR FORCE FEMALES FERTILITY FERTILITY RATE FERTILITY RATES GENDER GENDER NORMS GENERAL EDUCATION GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT HOUSEHOLD CHARACTERISTICS HOUSEHOLD SURVEY HOUSEHOLDS HUMAN CAPITAL HUSBANDS JOBLESS GROWTH JOBS LABOR DEMAND LABOR ECONOMICS LABOR FORCE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION LABOR MARKET LABOR MARKET OUTCOMES LABOR MARKET PERFORMANCE LABOR MOBILITY LABOR SUPPLY LABOUR LABOUR MARKET LEVELS OF EDUCATION LIVING STANDARDS MALE PARTICIPATION MARITAL STATUS MARRIAGE AGE MARRIED COUPLES MARRIED WOMEN MOBILITY NUMBER OF CHILDREN OCCUPATIONAL MOBILITY OLDER WOMEN PAPERS PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN PARTICIPATION RATES POLICY DISCUSSIONS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER POOR FAMILIES POPULATION STRUCTURE PREVIOUS STUDIES PRIMARY EDUCATION PROGRESS RESPECT ROLE OF WOMEN RURAL AREAS RURAL RESIDENTS SCHOOL AGE SCHOOLING SCHOOLS SECONDARY EDUCATION SOCIAL NORMS SOCIAL SCIENCES SPOUSE SPOUSES STATUS OF WOMEN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TERTIARY EDUCATION TOLERANCE UNEMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UNMARRIED WOMEN URBAN AREAS VOCATIONAL EDUCATION WAGE GAP WOMAN WORK FORCE WORKERS YOUNG WOMEN YOUTH
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World Bank Group, Washington, DC
Middle East and North Africa | Morocco
2014-10-01T18:58:15Z | 2014-10-01T18:58:15Z | 2014-09

Female labor participation in the Arab world is low compared with the level of economic development of Arab countries. Beyond anecdotal evidence and cross-country studies, there is little evidence on what could explain this phenomenon. This paper uses the richest set of panel data available for any Arab country to date to model female labor participation in Morocco. The paper finds marriage, household inactivity rates, secondary education, and gross domestic product per capita to lower female labor participation rates. It also finds that the category urban educated women with secondary education explains better than others the low level of female labor participation. These surprising findings are robust to different estimators, endogeneity tests, different specifications of the female labor participation equations, and different sources of data. The findings are also consistent with previous studies on the Middle East and North Africa region and on Morocco. The explanation seems to reside in the nature of economic growth and gender norms. Economic growth has not been labor intensive, has generated few jobs, and has not been in female-friendly sectors, resulting in weak demand for women, especially urban educated women with secondary education. And when men and women compete for scarce jobs, men may have priority access because of employers' and households' preferences.

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