Job Networks and Gender in Malawi

Development Economics

Lori Beaman

Niall Keleher

Jeremy Magruder


December 28, 2019

In developing countries, women are commonly underrepresented in the formal sector. One potential explanation is that a large proportion of these jobs are secured through informal channels, including employee referrals, which may disadvantage women. We examined how informal job referral systems affect labor market participation for women in Malawi using a randomized evaluation and found that informal referral schemes systematically disadvantaged qualified women.