Policy brief on the project “The Dynamics of Women’s Inclusion in Socio-Economic Life – the Cases of Albania and Macedonia” published
The results of the RRPP-funded project The Dynamics of Women’s Inclusion in Socio-Economic Life – the Cases of Albania and Macedonia were published and disseminated at two round tables named after the project in December 2016. The research intended to explore the factors driving the dynamics of female labour participation during the years of economic downturn.
The empirical analyses made use of the data from the Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) 2008 and 2012 for Albania, and the Labour Force Survey data for Macedonia. A three-step methodology was used to make dynamic analyses possible. The impact of women’s individual and intra-household characteristics on the decision to participate in the labour market was explored through the Generalised Method of Moments (GMM) probit. The effects of the economic crisis on women’s participation in the labour market were controlled through the interaction between time dummies and explanatory variables.
The empirical results confirmed a negative impact of the economic crisis on women’s labour participation. The likelihood of participation for women living in Albanian coastal and central regions has decreased due to the economic downturn. Evidence of public spending generating employment in disadvantaged regions among women was significant, especially in the mountainous areas of Albania.
The likelihood of women seeking employment in urban areas rose in 2012, as women sought to match pre-crisis family income. Similarly, the participation of married women, women living in non-poor households and highly educated women improved in 2012 compared to 2008. Membership in social or political groups had a strong and positive impact on women’s likelihood to participate in the labour market; in 2012 this positive effect was even stronger. The likelihood of young and elderly women’s labour market participation dropped after the crisis.
Similar patterns of women’s participation in labour market were observed in Macedonia. The likelihood of women’s participation in the labour market was negatively affected by the economic downturn. This effect was stronger for those entering the labour market immediately after completing their education, and for women who lacked access to social services such as kindergarten and health services.
Understanding the mechanisms with which economic crisis increases women’s participation in the labour market remains crucial for policy making. The discussion of the research findings with policy makers and social policy experts during the workshops triggered an exchange of views on those mostly affected by the economic situation and the ways to reach women through active employment measures boosting their participation in the labour market. Facilitating transition from school to work and encouraging educated women to look for work were pointed out as crucial interventions in support of women employment.
Policy Brief The Dynamics of Women's Inclusion in Socio-Economic Life: The cases of Albania and Macedonia