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Title: Feminization of agriculture in China : debunking the myth and measuring the consequence of women participation in agriculture
Other Titles: Rimisp - Latin American Center for Rural Development in the WDR2008 "Agriculture for Development" : assessment of its influence; final report; annex 1, documents commissioned by Rimisp for the WDR 2008
Authors: Linxiu Zhang
Rozelle, Scott
Chengfang Liu
Olivia, Susana
de Brauw, Alan
Qiang Li
Date: 2006
Publisher: Latin American Center for Rural Development (RIMISP), Santiago, CL
Abstract: The goals of this paper are to help build a clear picture of the role of women in China’s agriculture, to assess whether or not agricultural feminization has been occurring, and if so, to measure its impact on labor use, productivity, and welfare. To meet this goal, we rely on two high quality data sets that allow us to track changes in of labor use over time. We use this data to examine the evolution of off farm and on farm employment trends and analyze the role of men and women in the emergence of China’s labor markets. We explore who is working on China’s farms, and the effects of these decisions on labor use, productivity and welfare. The paper makes three main contributions. First, we establish a conceptual framework that we believe commences an effort to try to more carefully define the different dimensions of agricultural feminization and its expected consequences. Second, we make a contribution to the China literature. Perhaps surprisingly, we believe we have mostly debunked the myth that China’s agriculture is becoming feminized. We also find that even if women were taking over the farm, the consequences in China would be mostly positive—from a labor supply, productivity and income point of view. Finally, there may be some lessons for the rest of the world on what policies and institutions help make women productive when they work on and manage in a nation’s agricultural sector. Policies that insure equal access to land, regulations that dictate open access to credit, and economic development strategies that encourage competitive and efficient markets all contribute to an environment in which women farmers can succeed.
Project Number: 103897
Project Title: World Development Report : Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction
Access: IDRC Only
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