Developing Country Superwomen: Impacts of Trade Liberalisation on Female Market and Domestic Work

CIRPEE Working Paper No. 05-19

36 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2005 Last revised: 7 Mar 2012

See all articles by Ismael Fofana

Ismael Fofana

Université Laval - Département d'Économique

John Cockburn

Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP); Université Laval; Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP)

Bernard Decaluwe

Université Laval - Département d'Économique

Date Written: June 1, 2005

Abstract

This study analyses the effects of trade liberalisation on male and female work in Nepal. Our contribution is principally based upon the leisure activities modeling on one hand, and the effects of male participation in domestic work with trade policy analysis on the other hand. While previous studies explicitly incorporate leisure activities that required data about which little is known, we use a microeconomic model and alternative calibration procedures to avoid arbitrariness. The experiment conducted in this study shows that the complete elimination of tariffs on imported goods in Nepal benefits women more than men in terms of earnings as their wage increases relatively to men. Generally, female market work expands in rural households and contracts in urban households. It appears that the entrance into market production has not been met with an equivalent reduction in the time they spend in domestic work. Consequently they leisure time of women declines as they enter the labor market. Furthermore, the study indicates that leisure time consumed by men, which is already greater than that consumed by women, increases with trade reform. The extent of male participation in domestic work significantly conditions the impacts on male and female wage rates and household labor supply decisions. When male participation in domestic work activities is low, women generally devote less time to market labor. However their contribution to household income still increases following trade reform as their wage rates rise relative to male market wage rates. Women are more responsive to the market when there is greatest scope to substitute between female domestic and market work, as occurs when men are more involved in domestic work. However, even in these case their domestic work does not necessarily decrease in the same proportion.

Keywords: Nepal, trade, gender, leisure, home production, and computable general equilibrium

JEL Classification: C68, F14, F17, J16

Suggested Citation

Fofana, Ismael and Cockburn, John and Decaluwe, Bernard, Developing Country Superwomen: Impacts of Trade Liberalisation on Female Market and Domestic Work (June 1, 2005). CIRPEE Working Paper No. 05-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=747666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.747666

Ismael Fofana (Contact Author)

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada

John Cockburn

Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) ( email )

P.O. Box 30772-00100
ICIPE - Duduville Campus, Kasarani
Nairobi
Kenya

Université Laval ( email )

Dept. of Economics
Québec, Quebec G1V 0A6
Canada

Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) ( email )

Duduville Campus, Kasarani
P.O. Box 30772-00100
Nairobi
Kenya

Bernard Decaluwe

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada
418-656-5561 (Phone)
418-656-7798 (Fax)

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