22nd ERG call: The two successful proposals

Do cultural barriers within the household impact on women’s career advancement in developing countries? If this is the case, how would these barrier change if women took up (low-level) managerial positions?

Hannah Uckat, PhD candidate in Economics at University of Oxford, aims to shed light on these topical questions. To do so, she exploits an on-going randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Bangladesh, which promotes female operators in a garment factory to assistant supervisors, trains them for this role and evaluates the impact on the factory. In addition, to investigate cultural barriers within the household, she will then conduct two waves of home surveys, including incentivised behavioural experiments, with the RCT’s participants as well as their husbands or male household head.

These interviews and the study of the factory’s performance will allow Hannah to address key questions for industries and countries that rely on large numbers of women replacing the traditionally male candidates for managerial positions due to shortages of skilled labour. This project therefore has potential policy implications for the Bangladeshi government, garment factories and their associations, as well as international clothing chains that the factories supply.

Golvine de Rochambeau, PhD candidate in Economics at Columbia University, addresses the issue of high transport prices, common in many developing countries. As high freight transport prices are not yet fully understood, she will run a RCT in Liberia to better understand a phenomenon that impedes growth of local economies by increasing the price of imported commodities and rendering it more difficult for isolated producers to access bigger markets.

To do this, Golvine is running a monthly survey of managers and drivers of freight transport to follow the evolution of these companies through time and capture changes in transport prices and costs over the year. She will also install GPS trackers on the companies’ trucks to be able to estimate the time it takes to get from one market to another in Liberia and the quality of the roads.

Click on the links below for more details on the methodology applied and the potential policy implications of these two new PEDL-funded projects and to keep track of their developments.


A woman’s Place is in the Production Management? Cultural Constraints to Women’s Career Advancement and Firm Productivity in Bangladesh’s Garment Sector                                                    Hannah Uckat

Inefficiencies in the Transport Sector: Evidence from Liberia                                                                  Golvine de Rochambeau