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Seminar «Climate variability, female empowerment, and household employment decisions»

IZA-HSE University International Labor Seminar was held on March 30, 2021.

Speaker: Vladimir Otrachshenko (University of Giessen).

Title: Climate variability, female empowerment, and household employment decisions.

Annotation: This paper examines the role of female empowerment in building the resilience to climate change in urban and rural areas. Using a novel household survey data from Uzbekistan, a developing country in Central Asia, we focus on the impact of climate variability on household employment choices and analyze whether female empowerment serves as for this relationship. The findings suggest that rainfall variability in rural and urban areas leads to reallocation of labor from unemployment to business activities and temporary self-employment but does not affect the reallocation of labor from unemployment to salaried employment. We show that the impact of climate variability is partially explained by female involvement in decision-making, e.g., into the planning of important family expenses, female labor market participation, or greater freedom in participation in social activities, especially in rural areas. This implies that traditional gender roles may make households in developing countries more vulnerable to adverse consequences of climate change, while female empowerment contributes to more resilient and sustainable development in the face of climate change. Co-authors: Olga Popova and Nargiza Alimukhamedova.