تحرک جغرافیایی محدود و نتایج بازار کار تحت تعدیل ساختاری جنسیتی : شواهد از مصر
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16308||2005||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 33, Issue 3, March 2005, Pages 431–454
We examine in this paper the evolution of gender gaps in labor market outcomes during structural adjustment and explore the extent to which widening gaps can be attributed to women’s more limited geographical mobility. Using comparable household surveys carried out in 1988 and 1998, we show that gender gaps in access to wage and salary employment and in earnings have widened during this period, especially in the nongovernmental sector. We attribute these changes, at least in part, to women’s more limited geographical mobility. We show that women’s commuting rates are not only much lower than those of men, but also have remained stagnant in a period where males were having to travel significantly more to obtain jobs outside the government.
There are persistent and repeated claims in the international literature that structural adjustment measures and market-oriented reforms are strongly associated with a deterioration of womens relative position in the labor market (Beneria, 2003; Beneria & Roldan, 1987; Cornia, Jolly, & Stewart, 1987; Elson, 1992b; Haddad, Brown, Richter, & Smith, 1995; Palmer, 1992; Sparr, 1994). Measures such as cuts in government expenditures and payroll, privatization of state-owned enterprises, trade reforms, and exchange rate reforms are said to disproportionately affect women because of three major factors: the concentration of women in a few sectors of economic activity, their limited intersectoral and geographical mobility, and their position at the intersection of the household and market economies. The existing literature on gender and structural adjustment programs (SAPs) has dealt extensively with the implications of occupational segregation by gender (Anker, 1998) and of women’s unremunerated domestic labor for the asymmetric impact of SAPs by gender. Some authors have also addressed the disproportionate impact of public sector downsizing on women (Moghadam, 1998). There has been much less discussion in this literature, however, of the implications of women’s more limited mobility, both geographically and across occupations and sectors. We have therefore chosen to focus in this paper on this aspect, recognizing the importance of the other factors mentioned above on the asymmetric impact of SAPs by gender. Drawing primarily on examples from Latin America and Southeast Asia, the literature has also emphasized the feminization of the labor market under structural adjustment and economic liberalization (Beneria, 2003; Cagatay, Elson, & Grown, 1995; Cagatay & Ozler, 1995; Cerruti, 2000; Mehra & Gammage, 1999; Standing, 1989 and Standing, 1999). The increased female participation in periods of crisis and structural adjustment is either attributed to the added worker effect, where women are pushed into paid employment to compensate for falling male incomes, or to the emergence of more casualized and deregulated labor markets where women are favored as low-cost workers. Scholars writing in the context of the Middle East and North Africa have cautioned that such a trend is not universal and that structural adjustment could instead be accompanied by defeminization as the more egalitarian public sectors contract (Moghadam, 1998). The purpose of this paper is to examine the relevance of these propositions in the Egyptian context. Our primary concerns are how females are faring relative to males in wage and salary employment and to explore whether their deteriorating positions can, at least in part, be attributed to their more limited geographical mobility. Although the focus of our analysis is wage and salary employment, we are keenly aware that the effects of structural adjustment are not limited to such employment, but extend to women’s involvement in self-employment, family labor, and unpaid domestic work. Using data from comparable household surveys carried out in 1988 and 1998, we present evidence that confirms that in the 1990s––a decade characterized by the implementation of a major economic reform and structural adjustment program in Egypt––gender gaps in the labor market have grown in terms of access to paid employment as well as rewards from such employment. We show that contrary to predictions of increased female participation in paid work during structural adjustment, there was a defeminization of the paid labor force, outside of government. Structural adjustment has resulted in a reduction of employment opportunities for young female new entrants in the civil service, without concurrently increasing their opportunities in nongovernmental sectors. We also show that the gender gap in earnings, corrected for observable human capital characteristics, has widened, with the effect being limited to the nongovernmental portion of the workforce. As discussed earlier, these growing gender gaps can clearly be attributed to a variety of factors, including women’s occupational segregation, the intensification of their domestic burdens, the contraction of opportunities in the public sector leading to overcrowding in the limited segments of the private-sector that are accessible to women. In this paper, we opt to focus in on one of the causal mechanisms, namely women’s limited geographical mobility. Although, we do not formally test for a causal relationship between widening gaps in the labor market and limited geographical mobility in the context of structural adjustment, we do show that, during the decade under study, working women’s commuting rates were not only significantly lower than those of men, but that they remained constant over time, in a context where access to nongovernmental sector employment required men to commute significantly more. The remainder of the paper is organized into eight additional sections. Section 2 reviews the relevant international literature on structural adjustment and gender. Section 3 presents a brief overview of the Egyptian economic reform and structural adjustment program implemented in 1991. Section 4 describes our data sources. The empirical results are presented in the next four sections. Section 5 examines gender differences in access to wage and salary employment by age and educational attainment. Section 6 delves further into the apparent defeminization of employment by analyzing the gender composition and growth of job types outside government, where women are disproportionately represented. Section 7 presents the evidence on a growing gender wage gap, section 8 examines gender differentials in commuting across the 1990s, and section 9 concludes the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In many respects, the evidence from Egypt not only confirms the findings in the international literature on structural adjustment and gender but also contradicts them in some important respects. As predicted in the literature, the gender gap in wages has indeed increased in Egypt over the adjustment period, and new job opportunities in the government sector for young new entrants have dwindled. However, the feminization of the paid labor force that has accompanied economic crises and structural adjustment in many Latin American and Asian countries has not materialized in Egypt. In fact, structural adjustment in Egypt was accompanied by a defeminization of nongovernmental wage and salary employment. It appears that any increased labor supply due to household income shortfalls was overcome by significant barriers to entry into nongovernmental paid employment for women. On the demand side, the labor-intensive, export-oriented industries, which account for the feminization of employment in other countries, do not appear to have materialized to any significant extent in Egypt. Although a number of factors undoubtedly contributed to these barriers to entry to nongovernmental paid employment, including the reluctance of employers to hire women because of their higher turnover rates, women’s inability to accommodate the long working hours associated with such employment, and social norms that discourage women from working in certain occupations and working environments, we opted to focus in this paper one of these factors, namely constraints to geographical mobility women face in going from home to work. We show that young male new entrants to the labor market have had to significantly increase their commuting to work over the 1988–98 decade to obtain employment in the nongovernmental sector. This increase can be demonstrated either by a travel time to work measure or by a measure of commuting across agglomeration boundaries. Educated young women, on the other hand, have not increased their commuting to any discernible extent; a factor that we suggest has contributed to their reduced access to nongovernmental paid employment at a time when such commuting had become increasingly necessary. Less educated women, who have always lacked the qualifications to enter the government sector, are even more mobility constrained, further limiting their employment options in the nongovernmental sector. They have and continue to be confined to either nonwage work, much of it in subsistence agriculture or domestic work. Barriers to entry into wage and salary employment in the nongovernmental sector for women result in the crowding of female labor into a few labor market segments, which in turn results in depressed female wages due to oversupply. Women’s confinement into a limited number of “gender appropriate” job types and their relative geographical confinement within their local labor markets puts them at a significant disadvantage during periods of crisis and structural adjustment. We suggest therefore that women’s more limited ability to respond to the changing geography and sectoral composition of employment brought about by structural adjustment is a major determinant of the growing gender gaps that we documented. We acknowledge that constraints on geographical mobility are not independent of the other potential causal factors for female disadvantage in the labor market. They are clearly determined in part by social norms about the allocation of household responsibilities by gender, social expectations about primary gender roles, and concerns about female sexual safety in socially conservative societies. However, the focus on geographical mobility allows us to shed light on specific ways in which these underlying social factors translate into female disadvantage in the labor market and how they interact with the contextual changes brought about by structural adjustment. While the underlying social norms are not likely to change very fast, there are short-term policy measures than can be undertaken to reduce their constraining effect on women’s geographical mobility. These measures include the provision of better means of public transportation, possibly segregated by sex, the institution of incentives to employers to provide door-to-door transportation for their workers, and avoiding incentives to locate economic activity far from populated areas. In fact, on the latter point, just the opposite has happened in Egypt over the 1980s and 1990s as the government offered investors generous tax breaks to locate their businesses in new towns and satellite cities that require significant commuting on the part of workers.