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Moving in and moving up: Labor markets dynamics of women and men in El Salvador

We use individual and household level panel data to study labor market dynamics with a focus on what factors help men and women to achieve advantageous jobs in the labor market and whether those factors differ between men and women. Specifically, we examine the influence of personal characteristics (such as education), family characteristics (such as the number of children), and job characteristics (such as the industry sector of employment) in determining whether a women (or man) moves up into an advantageous labor market state from an unfavorable state.. We consider three labor market states to be “advantageous” (“favorable” in Spanish): (1) formal salaried employees, (2) non- agricultural self-employed workers and employers with a decent wage (defined as reported labor earnings above the legal minimum wage) and (3) agricultural self-employed workers or employers with a decent wage. We examine the transitions into and out of these advantageous labor market states and other labor market and non-labor market states including informal salaried employment, unfavorable non- agricultural self-employment, unfavorable agricultural self-employment, unemployment and out of the labor force (distinguishing between those going to school, those engaged in unpaid domestic work, and all other non-labor force activity).

Our work sheds light on the answers to two key questions: (1) what are the characteristics of the men and women who move up to an advantageous labor market state from an unfavorable one? and (2) what are the characteristics of the men and women who fall out of an advantageous labor market states into unfavorable ones? Our work also sheds light on whether the characteristics correlated with success in the labor market differ between women and men, and therefore whether the appropriate design and targeting of policies is different for men and women.

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Centro Internacional de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo del Gobierno de Canadá (IDRC-Canadá)

Cita recomendada:

Béneke de Sanfeliú, et al. (2014) “Moving in and Moving Up: Labor Market Dynamics of Women and Men in El Salvador” Fundación Internacional para el Desafío Económico Global. Documento de trabajo 022014.