Women working - sorting seeds
Pathfinding Paper

Home Production, Women’s Market Work, and Structural Transformation

Taryn Dinkelman and L. Rachel Ngai

This paper reviews the literature on how linkages between women’s home and market work change through the structural transformation. We relate historical shifts in female time between home production and market work in developed economies to more recent changes in developing countries. We highlight forces that contribute to shifting women’s time into the market in developed countries, and barriers that may get in the way of this movement of time. We review available and required data that could be used to uncover frictions retarding the movement of women’s time into the market in developing countries. Several areas for future research addressing these frictions are proposed. To inform policies that address macroeconomic misallocation of female labour resources and persistent gender gaps in labour market outcomes in developing countries, we need (i) more time use data to understand how women spend their time in home production and in the market; more research on (ii) how infrastructure affects home labour productivity; (iii) how child-care services and part-time or flexible work arrangements facilitate market work; and (iv) whether social norms against women’s market work are malleable.

This paper is available for download here.

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