Person:
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 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Discriminatory Environment, Firms' Discriminatory Behavior, and Women's Employment in the Democratic Republic of Congo
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04) Muzi, Silvia; Hyland, Marie; Islam, Asif
    This paper contributes to better understanding firms' discriminatory behavior in the presence of gender-based legal discrimination and its linkages with labor market outcomes for women in a developing country setting. Using data collected through the World Bank Enterprise Surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the paper documents the existence of nonnegligible employer discrimination and limitations in women's autonomy in the presence of a discriminatory environment. Interestingly, these are more pervasive outside the capital city, Kinshasa, which suggests that cultural norms or differences in regulation enforcement may be at play. The paper also finds that firms' discriminatory behavior harms women's labor market outcomes, in their representation among the upper echelons of management and participation in the overall workforce. The negative relationship between restrictions from discriminatory behaviors and female employment is particularly strong in the manufacturing sector.
  • 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
    Mobile Money and Investment by Women Businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-07) Muzi, Silvia; Islam, Asif
    This study connects two important findings in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, digital technologies such as mobile money have become widespread and have increased investment by businesses, especially in East Africa. Second, women-owned business in the region significantly lag their male counterparts in capital investments. Using data for 16 Sub-Saharan African economies, the study connects the two findings by exploring whether mobile money use by women-owned firms increases their investment. The findings indicate that the positive relationship between mobile money use and investment is largely driven by women-owned firms and is statistically insignificant for men-owned firms. Potential channels of these effects are explored. Women-owned firms that use mobile money to transact with suppliers are more likely to invest. Mobile money also seems to facilitate greater provision of customer credit and generally greater demand for more credit by women-owned firms. Such patterns are not observed for men-owned firms.
  • Publication
    Does Mobile Money Use Increase Firms' Investment?: Evidence from Enterprise Surveys in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-11) Muzi, Silvia; Islam, Asif; Rodriguez Meza, Jorge Luis
    Private investment can be an important engine of economic growth in East African countries, which, despite recent growth rates, are still plagued with adverse economic conditions. Against this backdrop, there has been substantial penetration of mobile money, moving beyond simple person-to-person exchanges toward adoption by private firms. This study explores whether there is a relationship between firm adoption of mobile money and firm investment. Using firm-level data that are nationally representative of the private sector in three East African countries -- Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda -- a positive relationship is found between mobile money use and the probability of a firm’s purchase of fixed assets. This relationship is attributed to reduced transaction costs, increased liquidity, and increased credit worthiness associated with the use of mobile phone financial services.