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Closing the Gaps : The Role of Screening Questions and Self-Reporting in Measuring Women’s and Youths’ Employment and Work
World Bank
2024.05.17
Can alternative survey methods address the underreporting of women’s and youths’ labor market outcomes, and thus improve the measurement of the underlying gender- and age-based gaps? This paper addresses this question using a survey experiment in El Salvador that compares two alternative survey methods―a list of activities survey module and enforced self-responses―against a traditional household survey, which consists of proxy responses without a list of activities module. The findings show that including the list of activities module yields higher work and employment rates for the average respondent compared to the standard household survey. Notably, when using the list of activities module, the reported work gap between men and women falls by 8.1 percentage points. Moreover, when using enforced self-responses, the male age gaps in employment and work rates fall by 13.9 and 12.3 percentage points, respectively. The paper provides evidence that the prevalence of peers’ informal employment or social norms for domestic obligations drive these results.