Econometric Analysis of Gender and Labour Market Outcomes in Urban Cameroon

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Akono, Christian Zamo
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African Economic Research consortium
In every country, gender disparities are observed in various aspects of daily life, the most visible ones being those related to labour market outcomes. This paper highlights the importance of the labour market related gender disparities in Cameroon with special focus on the relative contribution of identified determinants on unemployment duration, employment status and remuneration. Based on the 2010 Employment and the Informal Sector Survey by the National Institute of Statistics, both parametric and non-parametric analyses of unemployment durations have been used. They include probit model estimates for the choice of non-wage earner status, estimates of Mincer-type equations and various extensions of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. The results obtained can be summarized in three main points as follows. Firstly, women have longer periods of unemployment and are less likely to leave unemployment for a job than men. Results indicate that these gender disparities in exit probabilities from unemployment are due to differences in human capital endowments and to socioeconomic factors, which have a tendency of increasing women’s reservation wage. Also, unobserved heterogeneity with greater positive duration dependence for women is confirmed. Secondly, there are gender differences in probability transitions to either wage or non-wage employment with women being more likely to be self-employed. Of these gender differences, human capital endowment and job search methods account for 20.64% and 38.20%, respectively. The remaining part is due to unobserved factors. Thirdly, gender differences in labour market earnings are around 6% and 17% among wage and non-wage earners, respectively. Observable factors in wage equations account for only for 6% and 30% in the respective groups. These results suggest the formulation of several policies to reduce the observed differences. Some of these policies relate to the conception and implementation of vocational training targeting women and, to some extent, the setting up of programmes for relocating unemployed individuals to where employment opportunities are greater. Others relate to reducing the use of informal job search channels by increasing the effectiveness of formal employment agencies.