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Determinants of labor market gender inequalities in Cameroon, Senegal and Mali: the role of human capital and the fertility burden

Mathias Kuepie, Anaclet Désiré Dzossa and Samuel Kelodjoue

No 2013-08, LISER Working Paper Series from LISER

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to measure the impact of human capital and the fertility burden on labor market inequalities between men and women, in particular as regards access to the most highly paid jobs. The study covers Cameroon, Mali and Senegal, three countries in sub-Saharan Africa with similar socioeconomic characteristics. The findings show that, even with the same level of education as men, women still stand less of a chance of getting into the top job segment, because education is less efficient for them. This result provides evidence of gender discrimination in all three countries. A fertility burden in terms of a large family is another obstacle to female access to high quality jobs. It has a direct negative impact in the two Sahelian countries (Mali and Senegal) and an indirect negative impact via its interaction with education in Cameroon and Senegal. In these two countries, the more children a woman has, the lower her marginal return to education. These findings combine to show that a woman’s labor market situation improves in all three countries when fertility declines, either directly through greater access to top jobs or indirectly via better human capital efficiency.

Keywords: Female labor; Gender inequality; Labor market; Education return; Fertility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J22 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2013-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-hrm, nep-lab and nep-lma
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