Bezhanishvili, Levan Appleman, William Abramishvili, Zurab
Year of Publication:
IES Working Paper No. 30/2020
On September 1, 2014, Georgia enacted a one-time, immediate policy shifting public office working hours from 10:00-19:00 to 9:00-18:00 and affected the work schedules of all subjected employees. Due to professional scheduling conflicts faced by women with household responsibilities, some members of parliament believed that the new hours may be "family friendly", i.e. convenient for combining career and household activities, and increase female labor participation. The policy affected approximately 200,000 employees, but had never been evaluated, nor had any similar policy in any economic literature. Given that the policy did not affect the private sector, we employed a difference-in-differences approach using the National Statistics Office of Georgia Households Incomes and Expenditures Survey from 2013 - 2016. We find that the policy did not lead to more women working in the public sector, but did end up leading to an increase in female working hours. It was not through the expected channel, but rather through the taking up of the reduced working hours of employees with children that had been working over 40 hours, especially by married women without children, followed by unmarried without children, and by part-time employees with children. Effectively, the policy directly reduced the engagement of full-time employees with children and slightly increased the engagement of part-time employees with children. It did not directly increase female labor participation. As male working hour engagement was most negatively affected and those hours were mostly taken up by females, it could be argued that the policy did, indirectly, have a positive impact on gender equality in the labor market and, possibly, even domestically.
policy evaluation one-time & immediate policy implementation Georgia Georgian work schedule working hours engagement gender inequality household distribution of labor intra-familial bargaining intra-household bargaining labor participation female labor participation family friendly personal professional conflict career and household activities work-life balance gender differences in market and home labor gender wage gap asymmetric effects by gender and family type labor market barriers difference-in-differences private sector public sector public service efficiency