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Islam, Asif M.

Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Last updated: January 31, 2024
Citations 65 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Does Paternity Leave Matter for Female Employment in Developing Economies?: Evidence from Firm Data
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif; Sakhonchik, Alena
    For a sample of 53 developing countries, the results show that women's employment among private firms is significantly higher in countries that mandate paternity leave versus those that do not. A conservative estimate suggests an increase of 6.8 percentage points in the proportion of women workers associated with the mandating of paternity leave.
  • Publication
    Are There More Female Managers in the Retail Sector? Evidence from Survey Data in Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-04) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif
    This paper uses firm-level data for 87 developing countries to analyze how the likelihood of a firm having female vs. male top manager varies across sectors. The service sector is often considered to be more favorable toward women compared with men vis-à-vis the manufacturing sector. Although the exploration of the data confirms a significantly higher presence of female managers in services vs. manufacturing, the finding is entirely driven by retail firms, with little contribution from other service sectors, such as wholesale, construction, and other services. The analysis also finds that the higher presence of female managers in the retail sector vs. manufacturing is much higher among the relatively small firms and firms located in the relatively small cities. These findings could serve as useful inputs for the design of optimal policy measures aimed at promoting gender equality in a country.
  • Publication
    Decomposing the Labor Productivity Gap between Upper-Middle-Income and High-Income Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif; Khalid, Usman
    Using firm-level survey data on registered private firms collected by the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys, this paper compares the level of labor productivity in 22 upper-middle-income countries and 11 high-income countries for which comparable data are available. The results show that labor productivity in the upper-middle-income countries is about 57.5 percent lower than in the high-income countries. The productivity difference is robust and holds for firms of different sizes and industries. The analysis uses the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition to identify the sources of the productivity gap. It finds that the endowment effect and the structural effect contribute roughly equally to the productivity gap. Several firm- and country-level variables determine the productivity gap. The biggest contributors via the endowment effect include tertiary education attainment, law and order, and quality management proxied by international quality certification. Factors that contribute most via the structural effect include market size, secondary education attainment, and law and order. Thus, the results underline the importance of human capital, institutions, and market size for closing the productivity gap between the upper-middle-income and high-income countries.
  • Publication
    Does Paternity Leave Matter for Female Employment in Developing Economies?: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016-07-06) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif; Sakhonchik, Alena
    Analysis using firm-level data for a sample of 33,302 firms in 53 developing countries shows that women’s employment among private firms is significantly higher in countries that mandate paternity leave versus those that do not. A conservative estimate suggests an increase of 6.8 percentage points in the proportion of women workers associated with mandating paternity leave. The empirical specification is immune to spurious correlations that affect the level of women and men employment equally and also robust to a large number of controls for country and firm characteristics.
  • Publication
    Women Managers and the Gender-Based Gap in Access to Education: Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Developing Countries
    (Taylor and Francis, 2015-10-06) Islam, Asif
    A number of studies explore the differences in men's and women's labor market participation rates and wages. Some of these differences have been linked to gender disparities in education access and attainment. The present paper contributes to this literature by analyzing the relationship between the proclivity of a firm having a top woman manager and access to education among women relative to men in the country. The study combines the literature on women's careers in management, which has mostly focused on developed countries, with the development literature that has emphasized the importance of access to education. Using firm-level data for seventy-three developing countries in 2007–10, the study finds strong evidence that countries with a higher proportion of top women managers also have higher enrollment rates for women relative to men in primary, secondary, and tertiary education.
  • Publication
    Decomposing the Labour Productivity Gap between Migrant-Owned and Native-Owned Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2018-09-18) Islam, Asif; Amin, Mohammad
    Migration studies have been primarily based on the movement of individuals from developing to developed economies, with a focus on the impact of migrants on host country wages. In this study we take a different angle by exploring the labor productivity of migrant-owned firms versus native-owned firms in 20 African economies using firm-level data. We find that labor productivity is 78 per cent higher in migrant-owned firms than native-owned firms. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method we find that structural effects account for 80 per cent of the labor productivity gap. Returns to manager education largely explain the productivity advantage of migrant-owned firms over native-owned firms. Interactions with the government, access to finance, informality, and power outages are also considerable contributors to the labor productivity gap.
  • Publication
    Women Managers and the Gender-Based Gap in Access to Education: Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-05) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif
    Several studies explore the differences in men’s and women’s labor market participation rates and wages. Some of these differences have been linked to gender disparities in education attainment and access. The present paper contributes to this literature by analyzing the relationship between the proclivity of a firm to have a female top manager and access to education among women relative to men in the country. The paper combines the literature on women’s careers in management, which has mostly focused on developed countries, with the development literature that has emphasized the importance of access to education. Using firm-level data for 73 developing countries, the analysis finds strong evidence that countries with a higher proportion of female top managers also have higher enrollment rates for women relative to men in primary, secondary, and tertiary education.
  • Publication
    Unequal before the Law: Measuring Legal Gender Disparities across the World
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-08) Iqbal, Sarah; Islam, Asif; Ramalho, Rita; Sakhonchik, Alena
    Several economies have laws that treat women differently from men. This study explores the degree of such legal gender disparities across 167 economies around the world. This is achieved by constructing a simple measure of legal gender disparities to evaluate how countries perform. The average number of overall legal gender disparities across 167 economies is 17, ranging from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 44. The maximum possible legal gender disparities is 71. The measure is found to be correlated with other measures of gender inequality, implying the measure does capture gender inequality while also differing from preexisting measures of gender inequality. A high degree of legal gender disparities is found to be negatively associated with a wide range of outcomes, including years of education of women relative to men, labor force participation rates of women relative to men, proportion of women top managers, proportion of women in parliament, percentage of women that borrowed from a financial institution relative to men, and child mortality rates. Subcategories within the legal disparities measure help to uncover specific types of legal disparities across economies.
  • Publication
    Unequal Laws and the Disempowerment of Women in the Labor Market: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-09) Muzi, Silvia; Islam, Asif; Amin, Mohammad
    Institutions are defined as the set of rules that govern human interactions. When these rules are discriminatory, they may disempower segments of a population in the economic spheres of activity. This study explores whether laws that discriminate against women influence their engagement in the economy. The study adopts a holistic approach, exploring an overall measure of unequal laws also known as legal gender disparities, and relates it to several labor market outcomes for women. Using data for more than 60,000 firms across 104 economies, the study finds that unequal laws not only discourage women's participation in the private sector workforce, but also their likelihood to become top managers and owners of firms. Suggestive evidence indicates that access to finance and corruption are pathways by which legal gender disparities disempower women in the labor market.
  • Publication
    Paid Maternity Leave and Female Employment: Evidence Using Firm-Level Survey Data for Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-01) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif
    The relationship between the length of paid maternity leave and the proportion of female workers in the private sector is explored using firm-level survey data for 66 mostly developing countries. The paper finds a large, positive, and statistically significant relationship between the two. According to the most conservative estimate, an increase of one week of paid maternity leave is associated with a 2.6 percentage points increase in the share of workers in a typical firm that are female. As expected, the stated relationship is much larger when the government pays for maternity leave versus the employer. The results are robust to several controls for firm and country characteristics and other possible heterogeneities in the maternity leave and female workers relationship.