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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Publication | 2021

Agricultural mechanization and gendered labor activities across sectors: Micro-evidence from multi-country farm household data

Gender differences in the engagement of work activities across sectors are important elements of gender inequality in rural livelihoods and welfare in developing countries. The role of production technologies, including agricultural mechanization, in addressing gender inequality, is increasingly explored. Knowledge gaps remain, however, including, how agricultural mechanization differentially affect labor engagements across sectors. This study aims to partly fill these knowledge gaps through micro-evidence from 8 countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Tajikistan and Vietnam), using several nationally representative panel data and supplementary data, and applying Correlated-Random-Effects Double-Hurdle models with Instrumental-Variables. We find that the use of tractors and/or combine harvesters by the household induces greater shift from farm activities to non-farm activities by female members than by male members. While statistical significance varies, these patterns generally hold consistently across all 8 countries studied. These patterns also seem to hold across different farm sizes. While these are short-term relations, agricultural mechanization proxied by tractor and/or combine harvesters is one of the important contributors to gendered rural livelihood. Future studies should more closely investigate underlying mechanisms and implications of these patterns.