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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 - 5 of 5
  • 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
    Human Capital Accumulation at Work: Estimates for the World and Implications for Development
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09) Jedwab, Remi; Romer, Paul; Islam, Asif; Samaniego, Roberto
    In this paper, the authors: (i) study wage-experience profiles and obtain measures of returns to potential work experience using data from about 24 million individuals in 1,084 household surveys and census samples across 145 countries; (ii) show that returns to work experience are strongly correlated with economic development—workers in developed countries appear to accumulate twice more human capital at work than workers in developing countries; (iii) use a simple accounting framework to find that the contribution of work experience to human capital accumulation and economic development might be as important as the contribution of education itself; and (iv) employ panel regressions to investigate how changes in the returns over time correlate with several factors such as economic recessions, transitions, and human capital stocks.
  • 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 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.