Heterogeneous Impact of Internet Availability on Female Labor Market Outcomes in an Emerging Economy: Evidence from Indonesia

Poverty and Inequality Analysis
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
Policy Research

Greater female labor market participation benefits not only women's empowerment and the well-being of their families, but also the economy as a whole. Yet the labor force participation of women in developing countries is relatively stagnant, even with higher levels of economic development and better educational attainment. Women are also more likely to work in the informal sector and unskilled jobs. The arrival of the internet and the subsequent creation of internet-based jobs may positively affect women's labor market outcomes.

In this paper, the authors examine the effect of internet availability on five dimensions of women's labor market outcomes in Indonesia, focusing on the heterogeneity in the impact of internet availability on female labor market outcomes. They construct a balanced pseudo panel covering all districts in the country for 2008–2018. They find that internet availability has a small positive effect on the labor force participation and full-time employment of younger or low-educated women. They find a small negative effect on the likelihood of holding skilled jobs for these groups of women. They also find a small negative effect on job formality. These effects are concentrated among low-educated women.

The findings are mainly explained by the kind of internet-based jobs that were created in the country. On balance, the authors do not find evidence that the internet significantly improves women's labor market outcomes.

Suggested citation:

Niken Kusumawardhani, Rezanti Pramana, Nurmala Selly Saputri, Daniel Suryadarma, Heterogeneous impact of internet availability on female labor market outcomes in an emerging economy: Evidence from Indonesia, World Development, Volume 164, 2023, 106182, ISSN 0305-750X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.106182. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X22003722)

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Niken Kusumawardhani
Nurmala Selly Saputri
Daniel Suryadarma
Rezanti Putri Pramana
Research Area 
female labor market outcomes
Publication Type 
Journal Article