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Inequality and the economic participation of women in sub-Saharan Africa: An empirical investigation

Simplice Asongu (Department of Economics, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)
Nicholas Odhiambo (Department of Economics, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Publication date: 21 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of inequality on female employment in 42 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for the period 2004–2014.

Design/methodology/approach

Three inequality indicators are used, namely, the: Gini coefficient, Atkinson index and Palma ratio. Two indicators of gender inclusion are also employed, namely: female employment and female unemployment rates. The empirical analysis is based on the generalised method of moments.

Findings

The following main findings are established. First, inequality increases female unemployment in regressions based on the Palma ratio. Second, from the robustness checks, inequality reduces female employment within the frameworks of the Gini coefficient and Palma ratio.

Originality/value

Studies on the relevance of income inequality on female economic participation in SSA are sparse.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are indebted to the editor and reviewers for constructive comments.

Citation

Asongu, S. and Odhiambo, N. (2019), "Inequality and the economic participation of women in sub-Saharan Africa: An empirical investigation", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 193-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-01-2019-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited