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Gender Disparities and Economic Growth in Kenya: A Social Accounting Matrix Approach

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Realizing high economic growth and generating gainful employment present major challenges for Kenya. This paper analyzes the gendered employment outcomes of various investment options in Kenya using Social Accounting Matrix multiplier analysis. Results reveal that Kenya's agriculture sector accounts for the highest increase in employee compensation (mainly benefiting skilled labor and disproportionately benefiting men), while its manufacturing sector accounts for the largest share of job creation. Although women stand to benefit more from employment creation, most of these new jobs are informal with low wages. Kenya's gender disparities are a reflection of existing disparities in its labor market and socioeconomic structure. Therefore, policies aimed at addressing the constraints that limit women's effective participation in the Kenyan labor market, including increasing productivity and raising women's skills, are important for allowing men and women to benefit equally from employment and growth-promoting opportunities.
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Keywords: Employment; JEL Code: J16; gender analysis; social accounting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Macroeconomics Division, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, Nairobi, Kenya 2: Central Bank of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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