Women’s Mobility and Labor Supply: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan

Working Paper
Published on 1 April 2022

This is an Asian Development Bank working paper available through PEDL. The original version is available online here


In cities with conservative norms or high crime, female workers may face greater restrictions on their physical mobility. This limits women’s labor market opportunities and the pool of workers that firms can attract. In this study, we experimentally vary access to a transport service in Lahore, Pakistan, to quantify the overall impact of transport to work on men, women, and the differential impact of transport exclusively for women. We show that reducing physical mobility constraints has a large impact on job searching for women, including women who are not searching at baseline. Women’s response is driven by a women-only transport treatment arm, suggesting that safety and social acceptability, rather than simply cost, are key constraints.


Erica Field

Duke University

Kate Vyborny

Duke University