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Land Market Restrictions, Women's Labor Force Participation and Wages

Emran, M. Shahe and Shilpi, Forhad (2014): Land Market Restrictions, Women's Labor Force Participation and Wages.

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We analyze the effects of land market restrictions on the rural labor market outcomes for women. The land restrictions can have a gender and age bias because of an ex-post asymmetry in migration costs arising from older women's comparative advantage in home goods production. For identification, we exploit a natural experiment in Sri Lanka where historical malaria played a unique role in land policy. We provide robust evidence of a positive effect of land restrictions on women's labor force participation, and negative effects on female wages. The empirical results suggest that the burden of land market restrictions falls disproportionately on older women.

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