Our study provides a nationally representative analysis of the gender gap in agricultural productivity in Malawi. We decompose the gap, for the first time, at the mean and selected points of the agricultural productivity distribution into (i) a portion driven by gender differences in levels of observable attributes, and (ii) a portion driven by gender differences in returns to the same set of observables. We find that while female-managed plots are, on average, 25% less productive, 82% of this mean differential is explained by differences in observables, mainly due to high-value crop cultivation and household adult male labor inputs.
Kilic, T.; Palacios-Lopez, A.; Goldstein, M. Caught in a Productivity Trap: A Distributional Perspective on Gender Differences in Malawian Agriculture. World Development (2015) 70: 416-463. [DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.06.017]