Drivers of Female Labor Participation: Insights from West Africa

Document Type : Research Paper


1 School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau-Pinang, Malaysia

2 Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia

3 Department of Economics, Osun State University, Osun State, Nigeria

4 School of Economics, Finance, and Banking, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Kedah, Malaysia


This research investigates the determinants of the rate of female labor participation in West Africa. We employ an autoregressive distributed lag technique on the panel data obtained from the World Bank and the International Labor Organisation (ILO) in order to examine the direction and the magnitude of the effects. The findings of this study suggest that a positive nexus exists between the levels of education and health of women and the rate of female labor participation. In the same way, a positive connection is observed between the rates of fertility and female labor participation. In agreement with some previous studies yet in contrast to others, a negative coefficient is established for the globalisation index: social globalisation is negative, political globalisation is positive, while economic globalisation confirmes both the positive and negative influence – although the negative coefficient dominates. This research, therefore, highlights important policy implications for the governments of the West African sub-region on how best to foster the participation of women in active employment.


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