Gender Differences in Informal Labour Market Resilience

Working Paper
Published on 31 December 2021


This paper documents gender differences in informal labor market resilience using monthly panel data on the universe of garment-making firm owners in a Ghanaian district capital during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. Although female-owned firms are more likely to close during the spring lockdown period, male- and female-owned firms are equally likely to reopen. Selection into persistent closure differs by gender. Persistently-closed female-owned firms are negatively selected on pre-pandemic sales; their owners experience large decreases in overall income. Persistently-closed male-owned firms are not selected on pre-pandemic firm characteristics; their owners fully compensate for revenue losses with alternative income generating activities.


Morgan Hardy

New York University, Abu Dhabi

Erin Litzow

University of British Columbia

Jamie McCasland

University of British Columbia

Gisella Kagy

Vassar College