Kwacha Gonna Do? Experimental Evidence about Labor Supply in Rural Malawi

Jessica Goldberg , American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 8(1) , 129-149 , January 2016.

I use a field experiment to estimate the wage elasticity of employment in the day labor market in rural Malawi. Once a week for 12 consecutive weeks, I make job offers for a workfare-type program to 529 adults. The daily wage varies from the 10th to the 90th percentile of the wage distribution, and individuals are entitled to work a maximum of one day per week. In this context (the low agricultural season), 74 percent of individuals worked at the lowest wage, and consequently the estimated labor supply elasticity is low (0.15), regardless of observable characteristics

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