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Gender-based differences in Myanmar’s labor force

Gustavo Nicolas Paez and Myat Su Tin

World Development Perspectives, 2021, vol. 21, issue C

Abstract: Gender-based differential treatment is an unquantified burden in Myanmar labour markets. Closing this literature gap, this paper uses the Labour Force Survey 2015 to provide the first study that performs an in-depth quantitative analysis of the gender gap. Besides outstanding descriptive facts, this paper adapts Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition into quantile linear models and, using Heckman corrections to adjust for unobservable skills, visualizes gender discrimination in Myanmar across seven facts. The first two facts show that Myanmar’s women labour force participation and unemployment rate gap is remarkably high among the region. However, the third fact reveals that both genders have a similar strategy to engage in the labour markets. Regarding the employed population, the fourth fact analyses the distribution of occupations and industries. It provides a first glance into the way the social norms and market dynamics create gender segregation in specific economic sectors. The fifth fact complements this landscape and statistically compares gender wage differences by education, location, age, sector, industry, and occupation. By doing so, it presents the demographic profiles that face higher gender gaps. The sixth fact decomposes the wage gap by quantiles making a case for glass ceilings and progressive pricing discrimination, both between and across industries and occupations. Finally, the seventh fact reflects over discrimination in the opportunities that women face to occupy different positions in their companies. Gender discrimination in the labour markets is a substantial barrier to the economic development of the countries. Hence, by identifying it, this paper aims to give quantitative support to the gender debate in the country, provides evidence-based suggestions for the country to improve each performance across the facts.

Keywords: Social norms; Gender-wage gaps; Occupational segregation; Glass ceilings; Unobservable-skill biases (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.wdp.2021.100299

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