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Gender and agricultural productivity in a surplus labor, traditional economy:empirical evidence from Nepal

Hassan Y. Aly and Michael Shields

Journal of Developing Areas, 2010, vol. 43, issue 2, 111-124

Abstract: In this paper, two approaches (labor efficiency and separate factors approach) and two production functions ( a ray-homothetic function and the Cobb-Douglas function), are used to estimate the productivity of female versus male farm laborers in the traditional agricultural economy of Nepal. The hypothesis that female laborers would be less productive than males due to the disparities in physical and human capital, originating from economic and socio-cultural discrimination, is tested. The study results confirm this expectation. However, the study suggests that once differences in irrigation and type of seeds used by male and female farmers are included in the model, the magnitude of the difference is reduced and the estimated coefficient becomes insignificant. The ray-homothetic function does best in yielding realistic results suggesting that congestion is an important feature of Nepalese agriculture supporting the notion that there may be disguised unemployment in the sense that too much labor is used in agriculture and that empirical analysis should accommodate this possibility when considering functional form.

Keywords: Gender; Production Function; Ray Homothetic; Nepal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 J1 C12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:jda:journl:vol.43:year:2010:issue2:pp:111-124