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Decomposition of gender differentials in agricultural productivity in Ethiopia

Arturo Aguilar Esteva (), Eliana Carranza, Markus Goldstein (), Talip Kilic and Gbemisola Oseni ()

Agricultural Economics, 2015, vol. 46, issue 3, 311-334

Abstract: A number of studies document gender differentials in agricultural productivity. However, they are limited to region and crop-specific estimates of the mean gender gap. This article improves on previous work in three ways. First, data representative at the national level and for a wide variety of crops is exploited. Second, decomposition methods—traditionally used in the analysis of wage gender gaps—are employed. Third, heterogeneous effects by women's marital status and along the productivity distribution are analyzed. Drawing on data from the 2011–2012 Ethiopian Rural Socioeconomic Survey, we find an overall 23.4 percentage point productivity differential in favor of men, of which 13.5 percentage points (57%) remain unexplained after accounting for gender differences in land manager characteristics, land attributes, and access to resources. The magnitude of the unexplained fraction is large relative to prior estimates in the literature. A more detailed analysis suggests that differences in the returns to extension services, land certification, land extension, and product diversification may contribute to the unexplained fraction. Moreover, the productivity gap is mostly driven by non-married female managers—particularly divorced women—; married female managers do not display a disadvantage. Finally, overall and unexplained gender differentials are more pronounced at mid-levels of productivity.

Date: 2015
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