Decomposition of gender bias in enterprise employment: Insights from Vietnam
Thang T. Vo, Truong Thiet Ha, "Decomposition of gender bias in enterprise employment: Insights from Vietnam", Economic Analysis and Policy, Volume 70,
2021, pp. 182-194, ISSN: 0313-5926, DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2021.02.007.
While female participation in the labor market is crucial for women’s empowerment, studies focusing on gender bias in enterprise employment are limited. The present study investigates the determinants of female participation in Vietnamese enterprises from 2011 to 2015. The Feasible Generalized Least Squares (FGLS) method was used to analyze data from a survey of Vietnamese micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises. The study also conducted the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition to assess the degree of discriminatory treatment existing in firms in the male-intensive sector compared with that in the female-intensive sector. The results indicate that export activity, human capital investment, industry characteristics, length of operation, firm size, gender, and business owners’ social capital have positive effects on female participation in enterprises. Contrarily, labor remuneration and the level of capital per worker show a negative correlation. Gender discrimination explains 26.11% of the number of female employees and 87.78% of the difference in female workers’ proportion.
Conclusions and policy implications
The results indicate that gender discrimination in job opportunities still exists in Vietnamese firms. When comparing firms in the male-intensive sector and those in the female-intensive sector, discrimination explains 26.11% of the number of female employees and 87.78% of the difference in the proportion of female workers. Export activities, human capital investment, industry characteristics, length of operation, firm size, gender and business owners’s social capital encourage both the number and proportion of female workers in firms. Contrarily, the labor remuneration regime and level of capital per worker show a negative correlation.
The results suggest that future public policies should focus on supporting a firm’s export activities, expanding export markets, and improving the efficiency of trade associations to encourage female participation in the labor market. In addition, policies that help firms boost their business would be also necessary for the benefit of female workers. Simultaneously, the results support policies in challenging gender stereotypes through various gender awareness campaigns and training for employers on modern strategies of human resource development. Policies motivating female entrepreneurship could raise female employment; and therefore, the provision of finance and training for micro-businesses owned and operated by women are crucial.