Is There a Link Between Casual Employment and Export-Orientation of Firms? The Case of Kenya’s Manufacturing Sector

  • Maureen WereEmail author


Empirical evidence on the link between trade and employment outcomes in Africa is severely limited. The paper analyses employment outcomes, that is, the rise in casual employment in Kenya’s manufacturing sector in relation to firms’ export orientation. While exporting firms generally account for a higher proportion of employment in the manufacturing sector, the proportion of workers in exporting firms declined by over 20% between the early 1990s and 2003. On the other hand, the proportion of casual workers employed in manufacturing firms increased over the same period. However, the empirical results show no strong evidence of “exporting” significantly influencing the proportion of casual workers employed by firms. The combination of an increasingly skilled labour force in Kenya and deepening casualisation among workers points to a conundrum that requires further analysis. That notwithstanding, the results suggest a need for policy focus not only on job creation, but also on the quality of jobs created.


Employment Trade liberalization Casualisation Kenya Manufacturing 

JEL Classification

J21 J82 J23 



I am deeply indebted to Prof. Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa for his elaborate comments on earlier versions of this paper. I am also grateful to Dr. Eliab Luvanda, Dr. Anthony Wambugu, Dr. Damiano K. Manda and Prof. Ann Veiderpass for their helpful and insightful comments. I take responsibility for errors and shortcomings. I acknowledge financial support given by African Economic Research Consortium towards my PhD dissertation which formed the basis of this paper. The views expressed in the paper are those of the author and should not be misconstrued to be those of Central Bank of Kenya. My acknowledgement of comments from the anonymous referees. I take responsibility for any errors and omissions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research DepartmentCentral Bank of KenyaNairobiKenya

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