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Young Generation AwakeningEconomics, Society, and Policy on the Eve of the Arab Spring$
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Edward A. Sayre and Tarik M. Yousef

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190224615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190224615.001.0001

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The Effects of Education and Marriage on Young Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa

The Effects of Education and Marriage on Young Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa

Chapter:
(p.72) 4 The Effects of Education and Marriage on Young Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa
Source:
Young Generation Awakening
Author(s):

Edward A. Sayre

Rana Hendy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190224615.003.0005

The Arab Middle East still lags behind the rest of the world in women’s labor force participation. This chapter explores the causes of Arab women’s low labor force participation, specifically the effect of marriage, by using micro-level data and retrospective histories from labor market panel surveys in Jordan and Egypt and a labor force survey in Tunisia. In Egypt and Jordan, women are more likely to stay in the labor force if they had a job in the public sector before marriage. The role of the formal private sector in women’s employment explains married Jordanian women’s relatively low-level labor force participation. Furthermore, husbands with more schooling are more likely to have wives who work, so long as the wives have at least a secondary degree. For women with less than a secondary degree, more schooling for the husband makes the wife less likely to participate in the labor force.

Keywords:   marriage, public sector, schooling, labor force participation, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt

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