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2007 AEC - Gender Earnings Differentials and Power: Some African Evidence

15-Nov-2007

We examine a micro-data set from the Ghana Household Worker Survey (GHWS) to address two questions: what informs the observed occupational segregation in the informal labor market and what explains the earnings differential even within narrowly defined activities? This paper advances the notion that the differential outcomes observed across gender is explained in part by the prevailing socio-cultural norms that impose extra costs on women. These costs manifest themselves in two ways – a non-pecuniary dimension that reflects the penalty a woman puts on jobs that are not flexible enough for her to carry out her household responsibilities and a pecuniary dimension that is related to access and the differential cost of productive resources. We showed that these costs influence occupational choice and that they disappear with tenure in the self employed sector but persist within the cohort of wage earners.

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