Buchmann et al Policy brief September 2023
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- This brief describes two field experiments studying obstacles to female labour force participation in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- The experiments show paternalistic discrimination, or preferential hiring of men to protect women from jobs considered dangerous or harmful. When employers are concerned for worker safety, safety measures can increase women’s wages and employment rates at the same time.
- In the experiments, informing employers about a safe ride home for workers at the end of a shift increases demand for female labour by 22%, and increases female labour supply by 15%.
- Policies that aim to improve worker safety — e.g., regulating occupational hazards, improving public transportation, reducing crime — may have dual benefits, increasing both female labour supply and demand.