Determinants of Educated Women’s Low Labour Force Participation in Sri Lanka


  • IS Jayathunge Assistant Lecturer, University of Colombo


As suggested by the literature education widens the path for the labour force participation and employment for both men and women. During the last four decades the level of female education in Sri Lanka has increased rapidly, narrowing the gender gap in education. Despite this rapid increase in the female education level labour force participation of females has not increased significantly. It seems that progress in education has not resulted in higher female labour force participation. Within this puzzling background, this study seeks to identify the major determinants of low labour force participation of educated women in Sri Lanka. In order to figure out the determinants of educated women’s low labour force participation a Logit Model was employed. This analysis was based on data taken from the labour force survey 2012, which has been carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics in order to estimate the levels and trends of employment, unemployment and labour force in Sri Lanka.  Empirical results suggest that age, education level and English literacy have strongly affected the low labour force participation of educated women. Additionally, belonging to the employer headed house hold or being the spouse of the head of the house hold also determines the low labour force participation of educated women.  Residing in rural areas can also be a cause for this.  The results imply the labour force participation of educated women could be improved by encouraging them to attain higher education level with formal training and English literacy, and by enhancing the economic opportunities in rural areas.

Keywords: Labour Force Participation, Educated Women, Labour Force