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Gender Inequality and Marketisation Hypothesis in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tendai Zawaira (), Manoel Bittencourt and Matthew Clance ()
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Tendai Zawaira: Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

No 201876, Working Papers from University of Pretoria, Department of Economics

Abstract: The marketisation hypothesis states that the growth of the services sector reduces gender inequality. Women have a comparative advantage in service jobs and consequently benefit more than men as the services sector grows. In recent years, the African service sector has grown considerably, however, gender inequality on the continent is still relatively high. Using a new dataset on gender inequality and panel data analysis, we study the relationship between service sector shares and gender inequality in 31 sub-Saharan African countries during the 1990-2014 period. Consistent with predictions of the hypothesis, services sector shares significantly reduce gender inequality and the results are robust after the inclusion of a wide range of controls. However, we find that this relationship is non-linear, suggesting that the size of the services sector reaches a threshold before we observe improvements in gender inequality.

Keywords: Gender; Marketisation Hypothesis; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 O11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-dev
Date: 2018-11
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