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Economic Change and Restructuring

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 37–69 | Cite as

Female employment in MENA’s manufacturing sector: the implications of firm-related and national factors

  • Ali Fakih
  • Pascal L. GhazalianEmail author
Article

Abstract

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has realized significant advances toward improving women’s well-being and social status over the last few decades. However, women’s employment rate in the MENA region remains one of the lowest in the world. This paper examines the implications of firm-related and national factors for female employment in manufacturing firms located in the MENA region. The empirical analysis is implemented for firm-level data derived from the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys database. It uses fractional logit and other econometric models to perform the estimations for female overall employment, female non-production employment, and female employment in managerial positions. The results reveal significant implications of firm-related factors, such as private foreign ownership, exporting activities, firm size, and labour composition, for female employment. They also show that national factors, such as economic development and gender equality, promote female employment. There are considerable differences in the estimated marginal effects across female employment categories. This paper provides policy-makers with directions to design strategies aiming at enhancing women’s economic opportunities and employment rates.

Keywords

Female employment Fractional logit model Manufacturing firms MENA region 

JEL Classification

J16 J21 J23 J82 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers and to the editor, George Hondroyiannis, for comments and suggestions. The authors wish to thank Ragui Assaad, İpek İlkkaracan, Lars Vilhuber, and Philipp vom Berge, and the participants at the 47th Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association (2013), 34th Annual Meeting of the Middle East Economic Association (2014), and 20th Annual Conference of the Economic Research Forum (2014) for comments and discussions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, School of BusinessLebanese American UniversityBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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