Gender wage gap in the Tunisian labour market: An econometric analysis

Mehdi Ben Braham, Ameni Abid

This article is based on the explanation of the pay differences between women and men in the Tunisian labour market. The theoretical framework of our research is articulated around the economic theory of gender discrimination in the labour market, by focusing on the main typologies highlighted in the work of Becker (1972), Phelps (1972), and Arrow (1973). Based on the Oaxaca-Blinder model (1973), the use of micro-econometric data from the 2015 national population and employment survey shows a pay gap between men and women of 10.4%. The unexplained part of this gap, which can be attributed to discrimination, is 14%. This work has also made it possible to identify the various socio-economic factors that can, directly and indirectly, impact wage inequalities between women and men.

Fostering Decent Jobs in MENA Countries: Segmented Employment, Occupational Mobility and Formalising Informality

Philippe Adair, Vladimir Hlasny

Why is there persistent labour market segmentation, as evidenced by gender patterns in employment and occupational mobility? What is the impact and potential of various formalisation policies in MENA countries?
We first provide an overview of the informal economy in its taxonomy, coverage and drivers, across six MENA countries. Next, we analyse workers’ occupational mobility. considering their pre-existing status, age cohort, gender and other demographics, using transition tables and multinomial logistic regressions applied to longitudinal microdata from Labour Market Panel Surveys. We find persistent segmentation and low occupational mobility in all countries, suggesting that informal employment is not driven by choice on the labour supply side but by structural constraints on the demand side. We also find rather modest impacts of existing formalisation policies that encapsulate distinct stick and carrot strategies, as well as business versus workers targeting. We conclude that promoting social and solidarity enterprises, and extending microfinance to informal enterprises, are promising policies for the creation of decent jobs.

When Capital Falls to Pieces: Public Investment and the Role of Private Capital Stock

Rebecca Maria Mari

This paper considers the role played by capital stock endowments at local level in the private sector’s responsiveness to public investment. Using innovative municipality-level data, empirical evidence is obtained within the context of Northern Italy through a spatial regression discontinuity approach, exploiting the 2012 earthquake as an exogenous shock to private capital stock. The results suggest that, following the shock, areas with lower levels of private capital are more responsive to state-funded investment incentives targeted at production, than direct public investments in transport infrastructure. Investment incentives for production show higher returns in areas with lower private capital stock, on the back of a larger increase in access to secured credit associated with the policy. Instead, direct public investments in infrastructure appear to have a higher return to private employment and investment in areas with higher private capital stock, where private activity can be stimulated through public investment complementary with private capital stock. Overall, these results provide insights applicable to both post-disaster emergency response programmes and public development policies. In order to stimulate private capital and broader economic development, interventions should first aim to develop a sufficiently strong private capital basis and, later, leverage on its complementarity with public infrastructures, in order to further foster economic development.

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