This essay attempts to contribute to the study of gender and development by developing a systematic theory of the division of work between men and women in the global North and the global South. There is an extensive literature on women's work and development; this literature consists of rich case studies that do not attempt to identify general principles that apply to women's work as a whole. In formal employment settings, women are most likely to be excluded from settings where employers are buffered from labor costs and do not have to utilize cheap labor. In the global North, this means settings that are capital-intensive, where raw material and machinery costs reduce the importance of wage costs in total budgets. In the global South, petroleum lowers the importance of wage costs, promoting male employment, while export orientation increases the importance of cheap labor, promoting female employment. Family firms and female self-employment have their own dynamics, which are discussed.

You do not currently have access to this content.