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Labor productivity and employment gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa

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ABSTRACT

Drawing on a new set of nationally representative, internationally comparable household surveys, this paper provides an overview of key features of structural transformation – labor allocation and labor productivity – in four African economies. New, micro-based measures of sector labor allocation and cross-sector productivity differentials describe the incentives households face when allocating their labor. These measures are similar to national accounts-based measures that are typically used to characterize structural change. However, because agricultural workers supply far fewer hours of labor per year than do workers in other sectors in all of the countries analyzed, productivity gaps shrink by half, on average, when expressed on a per-hour basis. Underlying the productivity gaps that are prominently reflected in national accounts data are large employment gaps, which call into question the productivity gains that laborers can achieve through structural transformation. Furthermore, agriculture’s continued relevance to structural change in Sub-Saharan Africa is highlighted by the strong linkages observed between rural non-farm activities and primary agricultural production.

No MeSH data available.


Productivity by sector. Figure (a) (top) shows annual value of output per sector primary participant per year. Figure (b) (bottom) shows output per hour worked per year.
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f0025: Productivity by sector. Figure (a) (top) shows annual value of output per sector primary participant per year. Figure (b) (bottom) shows output per hour worked per year.

Mentions: Cross-sector productivity gaps calculated from the LSMS-ISA datasets are indicative of the average productivity differentials that households face when allocating their labor. Fig.5a depicts sector-level productivity measures with 95% confidence intervals in four LSMS-ISA countries, based on output per person per year. Output per worker per year is highest in the industry and service sectors, between $2000 and $3200 (USD ppp) per worker per year. Agricultural output per worker is between $560 and $1060 (USD ppp) per worker per year in all countries.


Labor productivity and employment gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa
Productivity by sector. Figure (a) (top) shows annual value of output per sector primary participant per year. Figure (b) (bottom) shows output per hour worked per year.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384442&req=5

f0025: Productivity by sector. Figure (a) (top) shows annual value of output per sector primary participant per year. Figure (b) (bottom) shows output per hour worked per year.
Mentions: Cross-sector productivity gaps calculated from the LSMS-ISA datasets are indicative of the average productivity differentials that households face when allocating their labor. Fig.5a depicts sector-level productivity measures with 95% confidence intervals in four LSMS-ISA countries, based on output per person per year. Output per worker per year is highest in the industry and service sectors, between $2000 and $3200 (USD ppp) per worker per year. Agricultural output per worker is between $560 and $1060 (USD ppp) per worker per year in all countries.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Drawing on a new set of nationally representative, internationally comparable household surveys, this paper provides an overview of key features of structural transformation – labor allocation and labor productivity – in four African economies. New, micro-based measures of sector labor allocation and cross-sector productivity differentials describe the incentives households face when allocating their labor. These measures are similar to national accounts-based measures that are typically used to characterize structural change. However, because agricultural workers supply far fewer hours of labor per year than do workers in other sectors in all of the countries analyzed, productivity gaps shrink by half, on average, when expressed on a per-hour basis. Underlying the productivity gaps that are prominently reflected in national accounts data are large employment gaps, which call into question the productivity gains that laborers can achieve through structural transformation. Furthermore, agriculture’s continued relevance to structural change in Sub-Saharan Africa is highlighted by the strong linkages observed between rural non-farm activities and primary agricultural production.

No MeSH data available.