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NUMBER 9NOVEMBER 2009Youth Exclusion in Yemen:Tackling the Twin Deficits of Human Developmentand Natural ResourcesRAGUI ASSAADGHADA BARSOUMEMILY CUPITODANIEL EGELTHE MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVEWORKING PAPER


Youth Exclusion in Yemen:Tackling the Twin Deficits of Human Developmentand Natural ResourcesRAGUI ASSAADGHADA BARSOUMEMILY CUPITODANIEL EGELMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPERWOLFENSOHN CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENTDUBAI SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT


ABOUT THE AUTHORSRagui Assaad is Professor of Planning and Public Affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of PublicAffairs at the University of Minnesota. He was formerly the regional director for West Asia and North Africaat Population Council. Assaad is editor of The Egyptian Labor Market in an Era of Reform (AmericanUniversity in Cairo Press, 2002) and has authored numerous publications on labor markets, gender andeconomics in the Middle East. Assaad is co-author of “Youth Exclusion in Egypt: In Search of ‘SecondChances,’” (Middle East Youth Initiative Working Paper 2, 2007).Ghada Barsoum is author of “The Employment Crisis of Female Graduates in Egypt: An EthnographicAccount” (Cairo Papers in Social Science, 2004) and “Who Gets Credit? The Gendered Division of MicrofinancePrograms in Egypt” (Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 2006). Barsoum is also co-authorof “Youth Exclusion in Egypt: In Search of ‘Second Chances,’” (Middle East Youth Initiative Working Paper2, 2007). She received her PhD from University of Toronto in 2005 and is currently a Research Associate atthe Population Council, West Asia and North Africa office.Emily Cupito is a consultant with the Population Council in Cairo, Egypt. She is also the co-author of“Inclusiveness in Higher Education in Egypt” (forthcoming 2009). She earned her Master’s in Public Policyfrom Duke University in May 2008. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy Analysis from theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently a Presidential Management Fellow with theSocial Security Administration’s Office of Retirement Policy in Washington, D.C.Daniel Egel is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.His research interests are applied microeconometrics and development economics. He is currentlyworking as a consultant with the Social Fund for Development in Yemen. Egel is co-author of “Youth Exclusionin Iran: The State of Education, Employment and Family Formation,” (Middle East Youth InitiativeWorking Paper 3, 2007).2MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


CONTENTSExecutive Summary ........................................................................................................................5I. Youth Exclusion in Context ................................................................................................................ 6II. Education .......................................................................................................................................... 6III. Livelihood ........................................................................................................................................ 7IV. Family Formation ............................................................................................................................. 7V. Policy Implications ............................................................................................................................ 8I. Youth Exclusion in Context ......................................................................................................10Demography and Population Growth ................................................................................................. 12Resource Constraints ........................................................................................................................... 15II. Education .................................................................................................................................17Yemen’s Education System................................................................................................................... 17Educational Enrollment....................................................................................................................... 18Delayed Entry, Repetition, and Early Drop-Out ............................................................................... 20Education Quality ................................................................................................................................ 22Links to the Labor Market .................................................................................................................. 22III. Employment and Livelihood .................................................................................................25Labor Force Participation ................................................................................................................... 25Formality and Informality of Employment ......................................................................................... 28Youth Incomes ...................................................................................................................................... 29Migration ............................................................................................................................................. 30Remittances from International Migration ........................................................................................ 31Qat Production and Consumption ...................................................................................................... 32IV. Family Formation ...................................................................................................................36Yemeni Women: Early Marriage and Its Determinants .................................................................... 36Yemeni Men: Delayed Marriage and “Waithood” .............................................................................. 37Living Arrangements ........................................................................................................................... 38Reproductive Health Policies in Yemen .............................................................................................. 39V. Policy Implications and Recommendations ............................................................................41Basic and Secondary Education Development Strategies ................................................................... 41The Technical Education and Vocational Training Strategy .............................................................. 42Policy Issues Related to Employment and Livelihood ....................................................................... 42Social Support Systems ........................................................................................................................ 43The Way Forward ............................................................................................................................... 43Annex I ..........................................................................................................................................45References .................................................................................................................................................. 49Endnotes .................................................................................................................................................... 51About the Middle East Youth Initiative ....................................................................................................... 52About the Wolfensohn Center for Development ............................................................................................ 53About the Dubai School of Government....................................................................................................... 53MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 3


LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1.1: Regional Classification of Yemeni Governorates ................................................................. 11Figure 1.2: Birth and Death Rates, 1950-2050 ....................................................................................... 12Figure 1.3: Population Age Structure in Yemen ..................................................................................... 13Figure 1.4: Total Fertility Rate by Region .............................................................................................. 14Figure 1.5: Per Capita Annual Renewable Water Resources ................................................................. 15Figure 2.1: Structure of the Yemeni Education System ......................................................................... 17Figure 2.2: Share of Youth Ever Attending School ................................................................................ 19Figure 2.3: Share of Children Over-Age ................................................................................................ 20Figure 2.4: Share of Children Currently Enrolled in School ................................................................ 21Figure 2.5: Type of Work of Youth by Educational Attainment: Males ................................................ 22Figure 2.6: Employment Status of Youth by Educational Attainment: Males ....................................... 23Figure 2.7: Type of Work Among Youth by Educational Attainment: Females .................................... 24Figure 2.8: Employment Status of Youth by Educational Attainment: Females ................................... 24Figure 3.1: Share of Youth Engaging in Market Work by Age, Region, and Gender ........................... 26Figure 3.2: Share of Youth Engaged in Any Kind of Work by Age, Region, and Gender .................... 27Figure 3.3: Average Hours of Paid Work for those with Paid Employment ......................................... 28Figure 3.4: Share of Youth Engaging in Market Work, Wage and Salary Work and Formal Wage andSalary Work ............................................................................................................................................. 29Figure 3.6: Origin of Internal Migrants by Current Location ............................................................... 32Figure 3.7: Destination of Youth Migrants by Region of Origin ........................................................... 33Figure 3.8: Share of Households Receiving Remittances ...................................................................... 33Figure 3.9: Incomes for Youth Households Receiving Remittances ...................................................... 34Figure 3.10: Expenditures on Qat Among Youth-Headed Households ................................................ 34Figure 4.1: Median Age of First Marriage for Yemeni Males and Females by Birth Cohort................ 36LIST OF TABLESTable 4.1: Living Arrangements for Married Youth (Percent of Married Youth, 15-29) ...................... 384MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN: TACKLINGTHE TWIN DEFICITS OF HUMANDEVELOPMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCESWith a dwindling supply of natural resources, low levels of human development, high levels ofpoverty, and policies and institutions that work against youth instead of for them, Yemen facessignificant challenges in helping youth reach their full potential.EXECUTIVE SUMMARYYemen is the poorest country in the Middle Eastregion and one of the poorest in the world. Its population,already overwhelmingly young, is expandingrapidly, creating an explosion in the number ofyouth aged 15 to 29. A large youth population canprovide the ideas and manpower necessary to fostereconomic growth and stimulate social development—butonly if adequate resources and institutionsare in place to help them do so. With a dwindlingsupply of natural resources, low levels ofhuman development, high levels of poverty, andpolicies and institutions that work against youth insteadof for them, Yemen faces significant challengesin helping youth reach their full potential.The situation in Yemen is particularly challengingbecause of the twin deficits that the country faces inboth human development and natural resources.Yemen ranks 138 th out of 179 countries and territorieson the United Nations Development Program’sHuman Development Index and 148 th on combinedprimary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment(UNDP 2008). Yemen also faces one of the largestgender gaps in human development in the world.For instance, in gross primary enrollment rates itranks as the country with the fifth largest gendergap in the world (UNDP 2007). These human developmentchallenges are compounded by severelimits on essential natural resources, such as waterand arable land, for a rapidly growing populationthat is still predominantly rural.In this paper, we identify processes through whichmany Yemeni youth are excluded from the opportunityto become productive adults and positive contributorsto society. We set forth the idea that manyyouth face social exclusion, whereby they are cut offfrom the resources and institutions that could assistthem in their transition to adulthood. We find thatyouth exclusion in Yemen is highly gendered andregionalized. Females and rural residents are muchmore likely to be excluded than males and urbanresidents.5MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


Youth exclusion in Yemen is multi-faceted: no singleaxis of exclusion can fully explain the processes bywhich youth are excluded. Progress in assistingyouth through one pathway will not ensure thatyouth are not excluded in other pathways. Exclusionis also interdependent: exclusion manifestedduring early stages of the transition can reinforceexclusion at later stages. For example, youth whoreceive inadequate schooling have trouble findingpaid work, which can thereby limit their ability topurchase housing, get married and become independentadults.In this paper, we use the life cycle approach to identifythe pathways through which youth are excluded,focusing on processes of exclusion in educationalattainment, livelihood and family formation. Thestructure of this paper is as follows: the study startsby analyzing the context of youth exclusion, followedby a detailed outline of the aforementionedlife cycle stages. The study then concludes by discussingpolicies that affect youth and by recommendingways for policymakers to promote youthinclusion in the future. Yemen’s twin deficits in humandevelopment and natural resources underscorethe urgent need for greater development assistanceto Yemen.I. YOUTH EXCLUSION IN CONTEXTThe impending youth bulge in Yemen is a result ofdeclining mortality rates coupled with persistentlyhigh fertility rates. Yemen’s fertility rates began todecline in the 1990s—much later than the fertilitydeclines in most Middle Eastern countries. Accordingto UN population predictions, Yemen’s populationwill continue to expand rapidly for many decadesto come. Yemen’s resources, especially water,land and oil are already in short supply and will beincreasingly strained by this excessive populationgrowth.Recent historical developments in Yemen contributedto the prevalence and depth of youth exclusion.Soon after the 1990 unification between Northand South Yemen, the country suffered vast repercussionsfrom the Gulf War, including the mass repatriationof almost a million Yemeni migrants andthe cutoff of much international aid. These eventsdamaged Yemen’s economy and threw the countryinto a period of turmoil and unrest. Rampant povertyand conflict created an unstable environmentfor youth, many of whom were already marginalized.Youth exclusion in Yemen varies widely across regionsand according to gender, with rural youth andwomen exhibiting the most severe signs of exclusion.However, regional differences in youth outcomespersist even after controlling for rural-urbandifferences. Throughout this paper, we discuss theeffects of gender, rural-urban and regional differenceson youth exclusion in each stage of the lifecycle.II. EDUCATIONYouth in Yemen face significant educational challenges.Women and rural residents have been particularlyexcluded from educational gains. A fifth ofyouth have never enrolled in school, with never-enrollmentbeing particularly problematic among ruralgirls. Delayed entry into school is also a significantproblem, with only 20 percent of childrenentering the education system at the recommendedage of six. Moreover, most students, again especiallyfemale students and rural residents, drop out beforefinishing basic education.A number of factors contribute to the low educationaloutcomes. Al-Sharki et al. (2005) argue that itis not the idea of education that prevents girls’ familiesfrom sending them to school. Rather, thesefamilies are hesitant to subject their girls to the circumstancesof schooling, such as: attending class ina coeducational setting, traveling long distances tothe schoolhouse, not having female teachers, andbeing taught in a male-dominated setting. We use ahazard model to determine that gender, parentalbackground and region of residence also have largeeffects on determining young people’s educationalattainment.Youth who are able to obtain adequate amounts ofschooling are constrained by the poor quality ofeducation in Yemen. Teaching and testing methodsin Yemen encourage rote memorization. Muchlearning occurs in inadequate facilities, such as unsafeschool building, tents, caves or open-air classrooms.Employers complain that graduates lack6MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


Yemen faces many challenges in promoting youth inclusion, but focusing on assisting thisimportant group will have positive benefits for the country for years to come. We make astrong plea for Yemen to receive greater amounts of development assistance both fromWestern donors as well as from its oil-rich neighbors in the Arabian Peninsula.achieved within marriage that are often unmatchedby the economic opportunities young men face inthe labor market. 1 Men who do marry young oftenbring their brides into their parental household, indicatingthat getting married may not signal trueindependence.Young women in Yemen still struggle to receive adequatereproductive healthcare. According to the2003 Arab Family Health Survey (AFHS 2003), lessthan 40 percent of young women had ever used anytype of contraception, with the youngest brides beingthe least likely to use contraception. Furthermore,many women—especially women residing inrural areas—report that high costs, a lack of femalephysicians, and long distances to clinics and otherhealth facilities impede their access to prenatal care.Yemen has attempted to enact policies that promoteimproved access to reproductive health services forwomen, but this sensitive issue has been met withsometimes impassioned political debate and religiouslyand culturally-based opposition.V. POLICY IMPLICATIONSThe Yemeni government is aware of the enormouschallenges that it faces in human development, especiallyas it affects its youth population. A majorsign of this awareness is the fact that Yemen is oneof the only Arab countries to have issued a NationalYouth Strategy. However, due to major resourceand financial constraints and even more limited institutionalcapacity, this strategy has not been fullyimplemented.We set forth three broad recommendations to guidepolicymakers in dealing with issues affecting youthinclusion in Yemen and argue for greater developmentassistance to help Yemen overcome its twinhuman development and resource deficits.First, we advocate for youth policies to take a holisticapproach—addressing the various aspects ofyoung people’s transitions to adulthood togetherrather than tackling each problem or sector on itsown. Second, we recommend that policymakers focuson improving outcomes for women, especiallythose in rural areas. Finally, we suggest that policiesbe carefully tailored to take into account the microeconomicfactors that affect youth outcomes, suchas the distance women and girls must travel to attendschool or access health care or the obstaclesthey face because schools, health facilities, andworkplaces are not perceived as safe spaces forwomen.Yemen faces many challenges in promoting youthinclusion, but focusing on assisting this importantgroup will have positive benefits for the country foryears to come. We make a strong plea for Yemen toreceive greater amounts of development assistanceboth from Western donors as well as from its oilrichneighbors in the Arabian Peninsula. The humandevelopment and natural resource challengesYemen faces are daunting and it is unlikely that Yemenwill be able to address them on its own, givenits dwindling oil wealth. A large injection of developmentassistance on the part of Yemen’s richer8MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


neighbors would be an excellent investment in regionalstability. The neighboring Gulf countriesshould also consider adopting more open migrationpolicies with respect to Yemeni labor to relievesome of the intense pressure on Yemen’s limited arableland resources and its overcrowded urban labormarkets.MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 9


I. YOUTH EXCLUSION IN CONTEXTWith over 75 percent of its population under 25years of age, Yemen’s population is one of theyoungest in the Middle East. Unlike many countriesin the region where the youth bulge has alreadypeaked, the share of youth in Yemen’s totalpopulation will not begin to diminish for manyyears to come. Under the right conditions, a largeyouth population can foster economic growth andstimulate social development, but Yemen’s challengeof turning its youthful population into a demographicdividend is daunting because of deficitsin both human development and natural resources,deteriorating economic and political conditions,and social and institutional obstacles that impedeyouth from reaching their potential.The human development challenge facing Yementoday is highlighted by its poor performance acrossa range of development indicators. Yemen ranks138 th out of 179 countries on UNDP’s Human DevelopmentIndex and 148 th on combined primary,secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment (UNDP2008). Yemen also faces one of the largest gendergaps in human development in the world. For instance,in gross primary enrollment rates, it ranks asthe country with the fifth largest gender gap in theworld (UNDP 2007).The macroeconomic and political conditions in Yemenare also important contributing factors. In1990, the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) in North Yemenjoined with the People’s Democratic Republicof Yemen (PDRY) to form a unified Yemeni state.Shortly thereafter, Yemen fell out of favor with theU.S. and many of its Arab neighbors by refusing tofight against Iraq during the first Gulf War. SaudiArabia shut its doors to Yemenis and nearly onemillion migrants returned to Yemen, representingan eight percent increase in population (Colton2001). Combined with political unrest within thecountry and the eventual civil war of 1994, the GulfWar marked the start of a period of decline for Yemen.Poverty and unemployment rose, educationalattainment fell and inflation skyrocketed (Colton2001, Hashem 2007). The effect of these setbacksstill lingers in the country today as instability andconflict in the region persist.Finally, institutional factors also play an importantrole in Yemen’s human development deficit. Sociallyconservative norms limit girls’ access to education,restrict women’s employment opportunities,and encourage them to marry early and bear a largenumber of children. Longstanding policies to protectthe Yemeni middle class, including policies thatresulted in a bloated bureaucracy and provided lifetimejob security to government employees, havehampered the development of the private sectorand reduced employment opportunities for youth.An education system accustomed to producing thecredentials needed for people to join the bureaucracyis ill-suited to the task of producing the skillsnecessary for a dynamic private-sector led economy,resulting in a skill “mismatch” in the labor market.Social assistance programs in this resource-poorcountry have historically had limited outreach andimpact. Finally, the usage of qat (Catha edulis), a majorpastime activity among Yemenis including youngpeople, has serious adverse consumption, productivityand health consequences. Qat cultivation alsodepletes scarce water resources and crowds out theproduction of essential food crops and agriculturalexports.All of these factors lead to the exclusion of a largeportion of the youth population in Yemen. TheWorld Bank identifies 60 percent of young peoplein Yemen as being disadvantaged. These youth havea high incidence of illiteracy, limited access to basiceducation and weak prospects for employment.Their exclusion spans the life cycle, making it difficultfor them to access the resources and supportthey need to productively participate in society.Youth exclusion is a cumulative, multi-dimensionalprocess (Silver 2007). For example, obtaining a jobwith an adequate income depends on one’s ability toobtain a quality education, and a youth’s marriageprospects might rest on his ability to demonstratethat he has a stable income. A young girl’s earlymarriage might cut short the length of her education,while staying in school might delay marriageand decrease fertility.Our analysis shows that a number of attributes determinethe level of exclusion for a young person inYemen. The first of these attributes is gender. Youthexclusion in Yemen is gendered in nature, withwomen and girls being systematically disadvantaged.Girls are much less likely than boys to enrollin school and, even when they make it to school,10MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


they drop out earlier. Young women, even whenwell-educated, have more trouble obtaining paidemployment. Women typically marry earlier thanmen and face a variety of unique health problems,such as the inability to access adequate prenatal careand increased probability of maternal morbidityand mortality. According to the World EconomicForum (Hausmann et al. 2007), the gender gap inYemen is the highest among the 128 countries studied.The index includes economic participation andopportunities, educational attainment, health andsurvival, and political participation. Yemen rankslast in almost all of these sub-indexes.Youth exclusion in Yemen is also region-specific.The regional diversity of Yemen is large and extendsto topography, types of agriculture, politics, demography,access to education, access to employmentand resource wealth. A young person’s regionof origin is essential to understanding exclusion inmore national urban areas such as Aden and Sana’aas it often determines the types of social networksthat a youth can access. In this paper, we follow theregional distinctions used in the 1998 HouseholdBudget Survey for our analysis. We construct sevenregions where each is a composite of relatively similargovernorates, as depicted in Figure 1.1. Thetwo major urban areas, Aden in the South andSana’a in the North, represent two of these sevenregions. The Eastern provinces, which are generallyamong the wealthiest in Yemen, are aggregated asare the poorer regions of the North. The Westernprovinces, which include the important port of Al-Hodeidah and are the destination of many Africanimmigrants as well as Yemeni returnees from theGulf, form another region. The Yemeni highlandsof Taiz and Ibb, the source of many immigrants tothe United States, compose the sixth region. TheSouthern governorates form the final region.Figure 1.1: Regional Classification of Yemeni GovernoratesSa’adahSana’a CityAmranHajjahAl JawfHadramautAl MahrahAl MahwitAl HodeidahDhamarRemahMa’ribSana’aShabwahAl BaydaIbbAbyanTaizLahijAd Dali’AdenMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 11


Gender and region specificities aside, our researchshows that social status in Yemen is determined followinga three-tier model of social hierarchy. Thehighest group is the sayyids, which claim ancestralorigins outside Yemen and, in particular, to thenorth. The next group is the qabilis, meaning the“tribespeople,” who compose a majority of the ruralpopulation. The final group is generally referred toas the “butchers,” which serves as a catch-all forthose individuals engaged in a variety of servicework in urban centers. Intermarriage among thesegroups is quite rare and one’s ancestry can thus playa strong role in determining the types of opportunitiesthat one might possibly have (Weir 2007).There are several marginalized groups in Yemenwhose youth have significantly restricted opportunitiesas compared to other Yemeni youth. Themarginalized group that is most severely impactedby this is a group called the akhdam, which is a socialgroup that has historically lived separate fromother Yemenis and provided services that other Yemenisconsider beneath them. The World Bank(2007) estimates that there are 130,000 childrenand young akhdam in Yemen, concentrated mainlyin Al Hodeidah, Aden, Hajjah and Taiz. Theseyouth are usually poor, have low educational attainmentsand use begging as their main source of livelihood.In addition, the foreign youth refugee population(primarily from Somalia and Ethiopia) is alarge and rapidly growing cohort who face significantexclusion challenges in Yemen, including accessto citizenship, healthcare, employment, andeducation.This paper focuses on three important transitionsthat take place during the life stage of youth: 1) obtainingan adequate education, 2) accessing employmentand livelihoods, and 3) forming a family. Weconcentrate on these three life transitions becauseYemen’s lack of resources and inflexible institutionsimpede young people’s successful transition intoadulthood in these specific areas.DEMOGRAPHY AND POPULATION GROWTHThe exclusion of youth in Yemen is all the more importantbecause the youth population is increasingexponentially. High fertility rates in Yemen coupledwith declining mortality rates have resulted in ahigh, steady rate of population growth of 3.4 percent(World Bank 2007). As Figure 1.2 shows, Yemen’sbirth rates did not begin to decline until theFigure 1.2: Birth and Death Rates, 1950-205060Births/Deaths per 1,000402001950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050Births DeathsSource: UN Population Prospects, 2005 Revision12MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


late 1980s—substantially later than the declines infertility witnessed in other Middle Eastern countries.Generally speaking, populations continue togrow for many decades after fertility begins to decline.Thus, Yemen can expect no relief from itsbulging population in the near future, despite therecent declines in fertility.The high fertility rates and declining mortality rateshave buoyed Yemen’s 15 to 24 year-old population,which will make up a steady 20 percent of the populationfor the foreseeable future. As Figure 1.3shows, the recent declines in fertility will not affectthe share of the youth population for many decades.Even as the proportion of the population under theage of 15 falls during the next four decades, theyouth population will continue to constitute a large,steady proportion of the population. With the overallpopulation of Yemen expected to triple by 2050,so will the youth population.Young families in Yemen begin childbearing earlyand space their children closely together, creating avery high national fertility rate. Here, we use the totalfertility rate (TFR) to describe fertility trends.The TFR is defined as the average number of childrena woman would have over the course of herchildbearing years if she follows the current age-specificfertility rates. According to the 2003 Arab FamilyHealth Survey (AFHS 2003), the TFR for Yemenfor the period from 1998 to 2003 was 6.2 childrenper woman. 2 This rate finally began to fall during the1990s after reaching a peak of 6.8 children per woman(United Nations Population Statistics 2005).Fertility patterns show large regional differences.Unsurprisingly, total fertility rates are greater in ruralareas (6.7 children per woman) than they are inurban areas (4.5 children per woman), but regionaldifferences are strong even after controlling for rural-urbandifferences. Total fertility rates are verylow in Aden and in the Eastern region. These figuresshow that the urban parts of some regions havefertility rates as high as or higher than the ruralparts of those regions. This indicates that even Yemenisliving in more “modern” urban areas, wherespace is precious and the cost of living higher, mustprovide for large families. Young parents who mustcare for the immediate needs of large families oftenlack the resources to invest in themselves. Theseparents might find it difficult or impossible to takelow-paying jobs that would boost their human capi-Figure 1.3: Population Age Structure in Yemen50Percentage of Total Population4030201001950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050Under 15 15 to 2425 to 64 65 and overSource: UN Population Prospects, 2005 Revision (Medium Variant)MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 13


tal or to save financially for their future. It may alsoreduce their ability to invest in their children. Furthermore,high fertility, especially at young ages,poses a health risk to young women and may hindertheir ability to work.It is also important to note that childbearing occursat young ages. Of all young women 15 to 19 years ofage, approximately 7 percent had given birth to achild. Among married young women in this sameage category, 48 percent had already given birth toat least one child and 15 percent had given birth totwo or more children. These high rates indicatethat childbearing occurs early in a marriage, even ifthe wife is very young. Of all young women under29, 31 percent had given birth to at least one child,and 24 percent had given birth to two or more children.Of all married young women under 29, 80percent had given birth to at least one child and 61percent had given birth to two or more children.These high fertility rates make the challenges facingyouth all the more difficult. As long as fertilityrates remain high, the population will continue toboom, spreading thin already strained resources.The high fertility rates also pose an immediate challengeto youth. Early marriage and high fertilitylimit opportunities for young women in other areasof their lives, such as employment or education. Expectationsof high fertility mean that employers arehesitant to hire females who they believe will soonleave their jobs to raise their large families (WorldBank 2007).Yemen introduced family planning services in the1970s. These services were first offered in urban areas,but eventually spread to rural regions. Contraceptiveuse is still limited, especially in rural areas(Worm 2007). According to the 2003 AFHS, 37percent of married youth had ever used contraception.Our analysis of this data shows that contraceptiveuse increases with age even after controlling forFigure 1.4: Total Fertility Rate by RegionUrbanRuralNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, AmranNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, AmranSouth: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’South: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’AdenTaiz, IbbTaiz, IbbWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah,Hadramaut, Al MahrahWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah,Hadramaut, Al MahrahSana’a City0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8Source: AFHS 200314MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


the length of time a woman has been married. Thus,young married women are especially prone to notuse contraception. Indeed, young wives report thatthey want to bear children immediately. Of womenpregnant at the time of the survey, only 5 percent ofteenagers stated they did not want their currentpregnancy, compared to 23 percent of 20 to 29 yearoldsand 50 percent of women over 30.Other factors affect contraceptive use as well. Forinstance we find that women living in urban areasare 2.5 times more likely to use contraception thanwomen in rural areas, even after controlling foreducational differences. Descriptive statistics showthat 60 percent of ever-married young women livingin urban areas had ever used contraceptionwhile only 27.5 percent of ever-married youngwomen in rural areas had done so. Education alsohas a large impact on contraceptive use, but thisneed not be extensive education. Finishing basiceducation had the largest impact on a women’s likelihoodof using contraception. Finally, contraceptiveuse varies by region: women in western Yemenhave the lowest rates while women in Sana’a Cityhave the highest rates of contraceptive use.RESOURCE CONSTRAINTSYemen has always been a nation of scarce resources:the water supply is particularly meager, and muchof the land is not arable due to the country’s difficulttopography. Yemenis have long lived in careful balancewith these resources, developing creative waysof using them in a sustainable manner. However,the recent surge in population, the use of new technologies,the rise of urbanization, and weak policiesregarding resource management have all tipped thiscareful balance. Yemen is now exploiting its resources—especiallywater, oil and land—much fasterthan they can be replenished, setting the countryup for future crises. Moreover, steadily high fertilityrates continue to increase the population pressureson these already scarce resources.Yemen is an extremely water-scarce country. Withan estimated 2.1 billion cubic meters of annually renewablewater resources that must be dividedamongst 20 million people, Yemen has a mere 105cubic meters of annual renewable water resourcesper person (Ward 2007). The world-wide average is7,500 cubic meters per person, and the regional averagein the water-scarce Middle East is 1,250 cubicFigure 1.5: Per Capita Annual Renewable Water ResourcesPer Capita Annual Renewable Water Resources(cubic meters)800070006000500040003000200010000YemenFood selfsufficiencyMENAWorld-wideaverageSource: World Bank 2007MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 15


meters per person. To be food self-sufficient, acountry must have at least 1,000 cubic meters perperson—meaning that Yemen has about one-tenthof the water it needs to be food self-sufficient in thelong term (Ward 2007). Figure 1.5 clearly depictsthe seriousness of the water shortage in Yemen. TheWorld Bank (2007) estimates that Yemen’s wateruse exceeds its renewable allotment by almost onebillion cubic meters per year. Yemen’s aquifers dropby about six meters each year and are expected torun dry in 15 to 50 years.Oil is a critical contributor to the Yemeni economy.The income from oil has helped keep many Yemenisfrom falling below the poverty line, and oiland gas revenues have helped to support social programssuch as the Social Welfare Fund (WorldBank 2007). The new Yemen LNG project waslaunched in 2005 in order to expand the country’sproduction and export of natural gas. However,Yemen’s oil supply is being depleted quickly. In2000, oil contributed 17 percent to the real GDP.In 2005, this contribution had dropped to just over12 percent. Production is expected to decline by2-3 percent annually, with an eventual depletion inthe 2020s (World Bank 2007).Land resources are also scarce in Yemen. Al-Sanabani(2007) asserts that after a long history of maintainingthe sustainability of land in Yemen, recentpopulation growth, urbanization, a focus on marketablecrops, and a lack of land maintenance havecompromised these efforts. Yemen has 1.66 millionhectares of arable land, of which 64 percent is cultivated.The United Nations Population Fund (UN-FPA) estimates that the per capita allocation of landwas 0.07 hectares in 2004 and will fall to 0.03 hectaresper person by 2034, using the medium variantUN population projection.16MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


II. EDUCATIONYemen’s constitution guarantees all citizens theright to an education, yet Yemen has some of thepoorest education indicators in the world (Al-Abbasi2007). Enrollments are low, retention is poor,and illiteracy is widespread. These problems arepervasive throughout the country, but they disproportionatelyaffect women, the poor and rural residents.Education is a critical investment for youth.Poor educational attainment and poor quality educationmake youth ill-prepared to contribute economically,participate in society, and invest in thehuman capital of the next generation. In this section,we briefly discuss the education system in Yemen.We then discuss the educational constraintsfaced by youth, including low enrollments, delayedentry and the poor match between educational outcomesand the needs of the labor market.YEMEN’S EDUCATION SYSTEMAfter the 1990 unification of North and South Yemen,the newly merged Ministry of Education(MOE) based the new education system on nineyears of basic education followed by three years ofsecondary education. Children are supposed to startbasic education at age six, but they are legally allowedto start anytime between the ages of six andnine—or even at age 10 in rural areas (MOE 2004).After the completion of basic education, studentscan decide to enter general or technical secondaryschool. General secondary school lasts three yearsand is designed to prepare students for university.Technical secondary school lasts either two or threeyears, depending on the track that the studentchooses. Students who complete the three-yeartechnical track (or who have graduated from generalsecondary school) are eligible to pursue a twoyeartechnical higher education degree. As Figure2.1 shows, most of the students enrolled in the Yemenieducation system are in basic education—representinghigh drop-out rates at higher levels ofeducation. Only a small proportion of students pursuessecondary education and an even smaller grouppursues higher education.As of 2005/06, only 1.4 percent of Yemeni studentswas enrolled in technical and vocational educationand training (TVET) (Central Statistical Office2005/2006). TVET includes both tracks of vocationalsecondary school as well as higher technicaleducation. However, this small group of TVETFigure 2.1: Structure of the Yemeni Education SystemNursery/Kindergarten14,771 studentsBasic Education (9 years)3,765,169 studentsGeneral Secondary (3 years)549,363 studentsVocational Training (2 years)6,066 studentsUniversity182,445 studentsVocational Training (1 year)3,304 studentsTechnical Education (2 years)3,058 studentsNote: Enrollments are from the 2002/03 school year.Source: Yemen National Commission of Education and Culture and Sciences, Ministry of Education, 2004MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 17


students is extremely expensive for the Yemeni governmentto subsidize: the per student cost of TVETis 5.6 times higher than the per student cost of basiceducation (Yuki 2003).Similar to most education systems in the MiddleEast, entrance to university is determined by a student’sscore on an examination at the end of generalsecondary school. This test is based on rote memorizationfrom textbooks. Little coordination existsbetween TVET and universities. Students who attendvocational secondary school are not permittedto enter university, although general secondaryschool graduates may attend higher technical institutes(MOE 2004). Of the budget for higher education,nearly one-third is spent on providing scholarshipsfor students to study abroad, perhaps indicativeof the government’s acknowledgement of the weaknessesof the domestic education system (WorldBank 2007).The Government of Yemen spends 19 percent of itstotal budget, which translates to 6 percent of GDP,on education—a relatively large share for a low-incomecountry. Although the majority (82 percent)of funding goes to general secondary education, theshare of funding devoted to TVET and higher educationis increasing (World Bank 2007). Despite thehigh level of funding, the Yemeni school system suffersfrom a lack of resources. Facilities are oftenovercrowded, especially in urban areas. Many ruralstudents do not attend school because no schoolsare located within a reasonable distance (Al-Sharkiet al. 2005). Low levels of private school enrollmentdo little to alleviate the burden on the public schoolsystem (Yuki 2003).EDUCATIONAL ENROLLMENTWhile educational attainment among youth in Yemenis low, most youth attend school for at least ashort time. A little more than one-fifth of youthsurveyed in the Household Budget Survey (HBS2005/6) stated that they had never enrolled inschool. Never-enrollment is almost exclusively aproblem for girls: 5 percent of young men had failedto ever enroll while 35 percent of young womenhad failed to do so. Furthermore, the problem ismuch more pronounced in rural areas. Never-enrollmentrates for rural and urban women are 63percent and 20 percent, respectively; their low enrollmentrates in rural areas are shown clearly inFigure 2.2. There are also some region-specificvariations in school enrollment. Enrollments arehigh for youth in Aden, Taiz and Ibb, Sana’a Cityand the East. Rates are low for women in the North(Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, and Amran) andfor rural youth in the West (Hajjah, Al Mahwit, AlHodeidah, Dhamar, and Remah).As indicated by the regional variation in enrollmentrates, many factors can affect educational enrollment.According to the 1998 National Poverty Survey,30 percent of families did not send their childto school because there was no school nearby and13 percent of families could not afford school. Seventeenpercent of families with girls ages six to ninesaid they did not want to send their girls to school,while 30 percent of families with girls ages 10 to 14made this claim. Al-Sharki et al. (2005) argue thatgirls’ families are not necessarily opposed to theidea of their daughters getting an education. Rather,these families object to the logistical circumstancesof their daughters obtaining that education, such asthe absence of female teachers, co-educationalclasses, a lack of female-appropriate sanitary andrecreational facilities, and the peril of solitary travelto the nearest school. These factors are particularlypronounced in rural areas, which have trouble recruitingfemale teachers and which lack the volumeof students necessary to justify gender-segregatedclasses or the construction of easily-accessible schools.Al-Sharki et al. imply that if some of these logisticalcircumstances changed, more families would decideto enroll their girls in school.The Government of Yemen’s attempts to increaseenrollment of disadvantaged groups has witnessedlimited progress. Comparing data from the 1994census and a 1999 poverty survey, the Social Fundfor Development (2001) contends that the averageenrollment rate has been increasing by only onepercent a year, further noting that it would take 40years to provide schooling for all children six to15,keeping the same rate. While enrollment has risenfor children from wealthier backgrounds, enrollmentof poor children actually fell between 1998and 2005 (World Bank 2007). The Social Fund forDevelopment (2001) argues that Yemen’s challeng-18MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


Figure 2.2: Share of Youth Ever Attending SchoolShare of Women Ever Attending SchoolUrbanRuralNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib,Al Jawf, AmranNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, AmranSouth: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’South: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’AdenTaiz, IbbTaiz, IbbWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah, Hadramaut,Al MahrahWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah,Hadramaut, Al MahrahSana’a CitySana’a City0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1 0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1UrbanShare of Men Ever Attending SchoolRuralNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, AmranNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, AmranSouth: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’South: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’AdenTaiz, IbbTaiz, IbbWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah, Dhamar,RemahWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al MahrahEast: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al MahrahSana’a CitySana’a City0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1 0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1Source: HBS 2005/2006 and authors’ calculationsMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 19


ing topography and dispersed population makes ithard to reach all groups. This is evident in the lowenrollment rates for rural residents and in the regionalvariation in educational enrollment.DELAYED ENTRY, REPETITION, AND EARLYDROP-OUTYoung people in Yemen who do attend school oftendo so late, repeat grades, and/or drop out prematurely.Only 40 percent of youth start school at therecommended age of six years and more than 20percent delay entry until age eight or later (CentralStatistical Office 2005/2006). 3 Delayed enrollmentconstrains educational attainment by cutting shortthe amount of time spent in school. High rates ofgrade repetition also constrain the educational attainmentof Yemeni youth. These high rates reflectboth the low quality of education and the fact thatfamilies often accord a lesser priority to educationwhen more pressing needs arise.As shown in Figure 2.3, the over-age rates in Yemenare stunning. Delayed entry, combined with highrates of repetition, lead a majority of students in Yemento be over-age for their grade. Following Patrinosand Psacharapoulos’ (1996) approach, wecalculate over-age rates in Yemen by dividing thenumber of grades a student has successfully completedby the number of grades a student shouldhave completed based on his or her age and thestandard school enrollment age (in this case, sixyears old). Over-age rates thus include studentswith delayed entry, students who repeated gradesand students who dropped out and then re-enrolled.By age eight, 60 percent of Yemeni boys are overageand more than half of Yemeni girls are over-age.Over-age rates increase for most groups as studentsget older—indicating that students either repeatgrades or that they move in and out of education.Both phenomena illustrate that the opportunitycost of education in Yemen is high and its benefitviewed as low.Over-age rates for rural girls stand out as surprisinglylow. Girls in rural areas are much more likelyto be at the appropriate age for their grade than anyother group. As all other groups become more likelyto be over-age as they get older, rural girls demonstratea marked decline in over-age rates aftertheir 11 th birthday. This phenomenon most likelyFigure 2.3: Share of Children Over-AgeUrbanRuralShare of Children Over-Age1.8.6.4.2MalesFemales06 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18Age6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18AgeSource: HBS 2005/0620MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


eflects a selection bias—since few girls are enrolledin school in rural areas, those that are enrolled mostlikely either stay on track or drop-out. Moreover,rural girls who drop out of school most likely do sofor permanent reasons, such as getting married or afamily decision to no longer send their girls to coeducationalschools, and thus are not likely to reentereducation at a later time.Young people in Yemen who enroll in school oftendo not stay for very long. Figure 2.4 shows the shareof students in each age group who are enrolled inschool. These figures illustrate that girls are againdisadvantaged, but rural girls have by far the lowestoutcomes of any group.We use Meyer’s (1990) hazard model to determinethe factors that cut short the educational trajectoryof these young people, as measured by years of education.(See Table A1 in Annex I for the results ofthis model. All subsequent tables referenced can befound in Annex I.) Negative coefficients indicatethat the corresponding factor increases the length oftime spent in education.The hazard model shows that gender has a strongnegative effect (positive coefficient) on the length ofeducation. Residing in an urban area has a strongpositive effect on women, but a weak positive effecton men. Al-Sharki et al. (2005) note that urban areasare more likely to have female teachers and separatefacilities for girls. Girls in urban areas arerarely required to travel long distances to reachtheir school building. Furthermore, girls in urbanareas may not be required to do as much domesticwork, such as fetching water and firewood, as girlsin rural areas. The strong differences between theeducational attainment of urban and rural womenindicate the strength of these factors on the abilityof girls to enroll in school.The effect of parental education is dramaticallygender-specific. Mothers’ educational attainmentstrongly affects their daughters’ longevity in school,although this factor has little effect on the educationalattainment of their sons. Conversely, fathers’education has a strong effect on boys but little effecton girls. Thus, policies that increase female educationwill have a positive intergenerational impact ongirls and should be encouraged.Regional factors are important in determining thenumber of years of education, but these factors areFigure 2.4: Share of Children Currently Enrolled in SchoolShare of Children Enrolled1.8.6.4.2UrbanRuralMalesFemales0Source: HBS 2005/066 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18Age6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18AgeMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 21


particularly important for women. The North faresparticularly poorly in terms of women’s educationalattainment. Women fare the best in Taiz and Ibb,and in Sana’a. Women have poor educational attainmentin Aden, which is surprising given thatAden has fairly high enrollment rates for women.EDUCATION QUALITYMany students—especially women in rural areas—view education as irrelevant to their present andfuture work. Women in rural areas are expected tolearn how to carry out domestic chores such ascleaning, cooking, caring for children, and fetchingwater and firewood. Thus, many families deem formaleducation for girls as a barrier that only delaysthe development of skills they will need in the future(Al-Sharki et al. 2005).In any case, the education system in Yemen failseven those who are ready and willing to learn. Overcrowdingin schools is common, with urban areashaving an average of 90 students per classroom (SocialFund for Development 2001). Yemen’s shortageof educational facilities has forced the Ministry ofEducation to admit 50 percent of its students intoschools housed in unsuitable structures, includingtents, caves, or the open air (Social Fund for Development2001). Further, as many as 60 percent ofteachers of basic education are unqualified for theirpositions (World Bank 2007). Teacher absenteeismrates are high. Teaching methods are limited to rotememorization from textbooks issued by the Ministryof Education and do not focus on developingcritical thinking or other job-related skills (WorldBank 2007). Because of these systemic deficiencies,the poor quality of education means that even welleducatedyouth are gravely unprepared for the jobmarket.LINKS TO THE LABOR MARKETAs Figures 2.5 and 2.6 show, education has only asmall effect on whether or not young men work,although it has a strong effect on the type of wagework performed by these men. Higher levels ofeducation in rural areas have a modest but clear effecton males’ propensity to participate in wagework, while this effect is smaller for urban males.Males who have completed higher levels of educationare much more likely to work in the public sector.As the number of youth in Yemen grows, com-Figure 2.5: Type of Work of Youth by Educational Attainment: Males1Percent of Youth.8.6.4.2Private SectorWage WorkPublic SectorWage Work0Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban RuralNone Primary Preparatory Secondary Higher Tech UniversitySource: HBS 2005/0622MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


petition for desirable public sector jobs will increase,making it difficult for even well-educated Yemenisto access these positions.The effect of education on young women is muchmore pronounced, as shown in Figures 2.7 and 2.8.Few women work for wages, but those who do usuallyhave received some type of higher education.Public sector work dominates all wage work—implyingthat private sector wage work is all but inaccessiblefor young women.Higher education is not, however, a guarantee offinding a wage job. While it is true that more peoplewith higher levels of education hold these jobs, oftenyouth obtain higher levels of education with thehopes of obtaining such opportunities only to befrustrated by prolonged unemployment after graduation.This story is especially true for Yemeniwomen.Unlike other Middle Eastern countries where higherlevels of education raise the likelihood that onewill be unemployed, data from the 1999 LaborForce Survey (LFS 1999) show the male unemploymentrate for youth to be fairly steady regardless ofeducational attainment (see Figure 2.6). Althoughthere is some variation, youth unemployment hoversaround 20 percent for all educational groups.Labor force participation is correlated with educationalattainment—with men of the lowest levels ofeducation (or none at all) showing the greatest propensityto be out of the labor force.Educational attainment, however, has a dramaticeffect on young women’s labor force participationand propensity for unemployment. Very few womenwith less than a secondary school education participatein the labor force (see Figure 2.8). Womenwith higher levels of education are more likely toparticipate in the market and are therefore morevulnerable to unemployment. Thus unemploymentis high for women with higher levels of education,especially for those with university degrees. In urbanareas, roughly 40 percent of women with universitydegrees are unemployed while this figure isonly slightly lower in rural areas. While only a smallnumber of young women are able to attain high levelsof education, those who do are ready and willingto work. However, these young women are shut outof jobs despite their perseverance in seeking posi-Figure 2.6: Employment Status of Youth by Educational Attainment: Males1Percent of Youth.8.6.4.2Out of theLabor ForceEmployedUnemployed0Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban RuralNone Primary Preparatory Secondary Higher Tech UniversitySource: Labor Force Survey 1999MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 23


tions, as shown by the high rates of unemploymentcoupled with low rates of inactivity. This high unemploymentmight be due to a tightening of thelabor market for public sector jobs coupled with theinaccessibility of private sector jobs for women, asshown by Figure 2.7.Figure 2.7: Type of Work Among Youth by Educational Attainment: FemalesPercent of Youth.5.4.3.2Private SectorWage WorkPublic SectorWage Work.10Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban RuralNone Primary Preparatory Secondary Higher Tech UniversitySource: HBS 2005/06Figure 2.8: Employment Status of Youth by Educational Attainment: Females1Percent of Youth.8.6.4.2Out of theLabor ForceEmployedUnemployed0Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban RuralNone Primary Preparatory Secondary Higher Tech UniversitySource: Labor Force Survey 199924MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


III. EMPLOYMENT AND LIVELIHOODIn this section we begin by analyzing the three centralaspects of employment and livelihood: participationin work and access to employment, formalityand informality of the youth labor market, and thewages and income of these youth. We then explorethe impact of migration, the importance of remittances,and the impact of qat, which are all centralto understanding both the opportunities and challengesthat these youth face. In each case, we explorethe challenges that youth face and the factorsthat affect these challenges. We conclude with apolicy section that discusses some of the existing effortsof the Yemeni government and provides somesuggestions for future policy.LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATIONOur analysis here explores how gender, region, educationand a variety of other factors affect youthemployment and their participation in paid and unpaidwork. Understanding the factors that affectemployment and livelihood is essential, becausework is one of the most important aspects in thelives of Yemeni youth. Cognizant of the importantrole that the labor of young Yemeni women plays inthe household, in addition to the work that some ofthese women do for pay outside the home, we analyzepaid and unpaid family work, including domesticwork, separately. Finally, we examine the possibilityof underemployment among working youthby looking at the number of hours worked by thosethat do engage in paid work.Participation in various kinds of work and totalnumber of hours worked are constructed based onthe activity of the youth during the seven days priorto the survey. The type of work done by Yemenis isdivided into five categories in our data: non-marketsubsistence and domestic work, two types of wagework (agricultural and non-agricultural), and twotypes of non-wage work (agricultural and non-agricultural).For this analysis we will aggregate togetherthe four latter categories and collectively refer tothem as market work, whereas the first category willbe referred to as non-market work. By includingsubsistence and domestic tasks in our definition ofwork, we are using a more expansive definition ofwork than the definition used in most labor forcestatistics. We do so in order to capture the significantcontribution of Yemeni women to livelihoodactivities.Figure 3.1 shows the percent of youth engaged inmarket work disaggregated by age, gender and region.The very low rates of market work for womenare unsurprising, as women are much more likely toengage in domestic and subsistence work. However,young men are far from being universally engagedin market work.Though the probability that women engage in marketwork is low, it increases significantly with age,with nearly 20 percent of urban women in their upper20s reporting doing market work. Market workamong urban women is almost entirely non-agricultural,while rural women are engaged in primarilyagricultural non-wage work.When the analysis is broadened to include all workactivities, including unpaid non-market domesticand subsistence work, young women of all ages inboth urban and rural areas are more likely to beworking than young men. In Figure 3.2 we graphthe age profile of all youth who are working, includingboth market and non-market work, again comparingrural and urban areas. This figure demonstratesthat women of all ages in both urban andrural areas are more likely to be working than men.This gap, which is particularly large among youngeryouth, reflects the important role that young womenplay in household-based subsistence and domesticactivities.Comparing Figures 3.1 and 3.2 it is clear that, whilethe majority of men who work are employed inmarket activities, a significant number of men areengaged in non-market work—especially youngermen and those in rural areas. For example, over 35percent of 15-year old rural men report workingthe previous week using the broader definition ofwork, while only 20 percent are engaged in marketwork.In order to examine the impact of location, genderand a variety of other factors on participation in anykind of work while controlling for age, we use amultiple regression model where the dependentvariable is a binary variable equal to one if the individualis working and zero otherwise. As the factorsMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 25


affecting participation in market versus non-marketwork are likely quite different, we analyze participationin each of these types of work separately. TableA2 reports the results from this analysis, which wasrestricted to include only youth ages 15 to 29.In Table A2, the strong gender division in terms ofthe probability of working is clearly demonstrated,with gender being the strongest predictor of theprobability of working in both market and nonmarketwork. 4 As demonstrated by Figures 3.1 and3.2, women are much less likely to participate inmarket work and much more likely to participate innon-market work.Table A2 illuminates several important factors thataffect young men’s participation in work. First, educationseems to have a non-monotonic effect on theprobability of working. While men who have sometype of education are more likely to engage in marketwork than those that are illiterate, high schooland university graduates are significantly less likelyto be employed in market work than graduates ofeither primary or lower secondary schools. Whilethis likely indicates a lack of opportunities for thesemore educated individuals, it may also indicate thatthese youth have a higher reservation wage and aretherefore more likely to remain unemployed as theysearch for the right job. In the case of high schoolgraduates, their lower probability of employmentmay simply be due to the fact that they are continuingtheir schooling.Second, men who are married are much more likelyto have market work than those that are not married.However, rather than indicating that youngmen are encouraged to find employment upon gettingmarried, this reflects the importance of marketwork in making men eligible for marriage. Third,migration has a positive effect on the probability ofmarket work for men, indicating that men likelymove to a new area only if they know of an opportunityfor employment. Fourth, the probability ofmarket work increases with age and the probabilityof non-market work decreases with age. This suggeststhat young men are expected to contribute tosubsistence and domestic chores within the householduntil they secure market work.Last, the strong regional impact on the probabilityof market work demonstrates the high variance inemployment rates across different regions of theFigure 3.1: Share of Youth Engaging in Market Work by Age, Region, and Gender100Urban100Rural8080MenWomenPercent604060402020015 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29AgeSource: HBS 2005/2006015 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29Age26MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


country. Indeed, region is the strongest predictor ofmarket work among men in this multivariate analysis.As an example, the large negative coefficient onthe “Aden” variable indicates that men living inAden are much less likely to be employed in marketwork as compared to the control group, which ismade up of the poor governorates of the North.This analysis indicates that the two poorest regions,the governorates of the North—the excludedgroup—and the Western governorates (Hajjah,etc.), have the lowest rates of male non-employment.The predominance of agriculture in thesetwo regions as compared to the other regions, withthe exception of the Southern region (Al Bayda,etc.), suggests that the difference in the nature oflocal economies may explain the low levels of nonemploymentin these two regions. However, lessthan a third of total employment in the Northerngovernorates and only 20 percent of employment inthe Western governorates is engaged in agriculture,so this is unlikely to be the only explanation.Education, marriage, migration and region alsohave strong effects on women’s participation inwork, as shown in Table A2. For women, educationseems to be a measure of social class as well as a wayto gain access to the labor market. Highly educatedwomen provide less subsistence and domestic workand more market work than less educated women.Married women, unsurprisingly, are much morelikely to be involved in domestic and subsistencework, as they are typically the primary caregivers ofchildren and hence often confined to the home.Market and non-market work are not typically substitutesfor women; women who work for pay alsoengage in significant amounts of domestic work.However, the higher burden of domestic work formarried women clearly precludes significant levelsof participation in market work.Interestingly, similar to men, women who are migrantsare significantly more likely to engage inmarket work. This result is unusual as it suggeststhat many women may be migrating in search ofemployment and not only for marriage, which is oftendiscussed as the central reason for female migration.The variation in female participation in the laborforce between urban and rural areas and across theregions of Yemen is indicative of the differing struc-Figure 3.2: Share of Youth Engaged in Any Kind of Work (including Non-Market Domestic and SubsistenceWork) by Age, Region, and GenderUrbanRural1008010080MenWomenPercent604060402020015 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29AgeSource: HBS 2005/2006015 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29AgeMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 27


ture of the economies in different parts of the country.Young women in urban areas are less likely toengage in both market and non-market work. Thislikely reflects the lower subsistence and domesticwork burdens in urban areas and the fairly limitedopportunities for women to engage in market workoutside agriculture. The higher rate of female participationin market work in the northern governoratesmay reflect the important role that womenplay in agricultural production in this region. However,only 8 percent of the women in the samplereported engaging in market work and there may beregional variation in the types of work that womenconsider to be market versus non-market.In Figure 3.3 we explore the possibility of visibleunderemployment among employed youth by examiningthe hours of paid work undertaken by theseyouth. We find little evidence of underemployment,as the average number of hours worked per week bymen of all ages exceeds 40 and approaches 50 forsome age groups in both urban and rural areas. Interestingly,women who do participate in marketwork average over 30 hours of work per week inurban areas, and 20 in rural areas. This indicatesthat many of these women are working in full-timepositions and not just part-time jobs to supplementfamily income.Finally, many Yemeni youth are active in the laborforce while they are still in school, which has importantimplications for the development of humancapital. Nearly 20 percent of male students ages 15to 29 are actively working under the expansive definitionof work, providing an average of 35 hours oflabor per week. A much higher two-thirds of femalestudents ages 15 to 29 are working an average of 26hours per week. To the extent that female laborlikely represents domestic work and chores, thelong hours worked by these women may have deleteriouseffects on the quality of their education.This may be the case for young men as well, thoughthere is a greater likelihood that they are able togain a wider range of skills in a variety of work experiencesoutside the home.FORMALITY AND INFORMALITY OF EMPLOYMENTThere are two different types of formality in paidemployment. The first, and more restrictive, definitionof formality includes only those positions thatFigure 3.3: Average Hours of Paid Work for those with Paid Employment50Urban50Rural4040MenHours3030Women20201010015 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29015 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29AgeAgeSource: HBS 2005/200628MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


provide either health insurance, pension or paidleave, referred to as “formal wage and salary employment.”Less than 10 percent of Yemeni youthhave positions satisfying this definition. A seconddefinition of formality provides a better descriptionof the labor market and includes anyone workingfor a wage or salary.In Figure 3.4 we compare the shares of youth engagingin market work, youth working for a wage orsalary, and youth engaged in formal wage and salaryemployment. Approximately two-thirds of men engagedin market work earn a wage or salary, suggestingsome degree of formality in their employment.However, only 26 percent of employed menin urban areas and 17 percent in rural areas haveformal employment that includes some benefits. Asthe vast majority of these formal positions are withthe government or public sector, this suggests thatthe private sector has been unsuccessful in creatingpreferable formal positions which would attracthighly skilled youth.Among young women, though the proportion engagedin market work is quite small (under 8 percent),there is a striking difference between urbanand rural areas. In rural areas, the vast majority ofmarket work for women is non-wage work in agriculture.In urban areas, most female market work iswage and salary work, and about half of that is formal.However, nearly 89 percent of urban women’sformal employment is in government, once againshowing the limited reach of private sector opportunities.YOUTH INCOMESIn this subsection we explore the variety of individualcharacteristics that affect the earning potentialof young people. We study the factors affectinghourly wages and total monthly earnings separately.While examining hourly wages is more standard inthis type of analysis, we believe it is also useful tostudy the total monthly earnings of these individualsto account for the differences in hours workedby sub-group.For this analysis we necessarily have to focus ononly the individuals that engage in labor for a wage,for those are the only individuals for which we canlink personal characteristics to earnings. As thisrepresents a restricted group of all individuals doingFigure 3.4: Share of Youth Engaging in Market Work, Wage and Salary Work and Formal Wage and SalaryWork% of Male YouthWorking in Each Sector806040200Rural AreasMenUrban Areas% of Female YouthWorking in Each Sector86420Rural AreasWomenUrban AreasMarket Work Wage Work Formal SectorSource: HBS 2005/2006MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 29


The monotonic effect of higher education among men and women, for both hourly wagesand total monthly earnings, reflects the importance of education for these youth. Indeed,a young man with a primary education earns 30 percent more than a comparable manwith no education, and a young man with a high school education receives approximately40 percent more than a young man with only a primary education.market work (as shown in Figure 3.4), and as thisgroup is likely to be non-randomly selected fromamong the population, estimates based on this potentiallyselect sample are likely to be biased. Thougha variety of techniques exist to “correct” for this selectionbias, we do not believe that these techniquesare feasible with our data. Indeed, the familiar Heckmanselectivity correction approach requires an instrumentalvariable that affects selection into wageemployment but that does not affect the wage itself.Such a variable is not available to us. Most othertechniques rely on an assumption of selection on observablesthat would not necessarily hold here.The estimates provided here for earnings are thusconditional on having been selected into the wagework sample. An important example of the consequencesof such selectivity is the high hourly wagereported for women below. Since only women withrelatively high earnings potential get selected intothe wage sample, the measured wages for thesewomen will be significantly higher than those for arandomly selected woman. Moreover, women whodo work for wages in Yemen are most likely to befound in the government, where the wage determinationprocess is based on administrative rules ratherthan market forces.Table A3 reports results for the analysis, where thedependent variable is either the log of the hourlywage rate or the log of total monthly earnings. Interestingly,while the effect of gender is significantfor the hourly wage rate, with women getting paidmore than men, there is not a significant differencein total earnings between men and women. This resultsfrom the fact that, in Yemen, women wageworkersspend fewer hours in such work than men.The monotonic effect of higher education amongmen and women, for both hourly wages and totalmonthly earnings, reflects the importance of educationfor these youth. Indeed, a young man with aprimary education earns 30 percent more than acomparable man with no education, and a youngman with a high school education receives approximately40 percent more than a young man withonly a primary education.While living in an urban area has only a weak positiveeffect on wages and earnings, individuals livingin Sana’a City and the Eastern governorates enjoymuch higher wages than young people living elsewhere.Earnings in the Eastern governorates are 70percent higher than the rest of the country excludingSana’a City, which itself has earnings that are 30percent higher than the rest of the country.MIGRATIONIn this section we provide some background on theincidence and patterns of migration and concludeby discussing the implications of this migration onthe lives of Yemeni youth. The importance of migrationfor Yemeni youth is demonstrated in Figure3.5, where we plot the share of migrants amongyouth in urban and rural areas. In urban areas, theshare of migrants among youth is over 35 percentfor both men and women, and in Sana’a City nearly60 percent of youth are migrants. This high inci-30MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


dence of migration reflects the recent urbanizationin Yemen as both youth and families move to urbanareas in search of work. As expected, the incidenceof migration is low in rural areas. But interestingly,more than twice as many rural young women arelikely to be migrants than rural young men. Thisprobably reflects the fact that women are more likelyto move to join their husbands’ families whenthey get married.Most migration of youth is from rural areas,though there is a significant amount of migrationamong urban areas and a bit of migration from urbanto rural areas (Figure 3.6). Migration to Sana’aCity from other urban areas reflects the perceivedbenefits that the capital has in terms of access toemployment. As our data has no information onthe motivation for migration or the economic conditionsof a household before migration, it is difficultfor us to speculate on what may be drivingmigration between urban centers.As a final effort to get a better sense of the migratoryflows of youth in Yemen, we examine the destinationof youth migrants by their region of originin Figure 3.7. While much of the migration is fromrural to urban areas, there is a lot of emigrationfrom the southern governorates as well as Taiz andIbb. This is likely driven by the collapse of thesouthern economy in the wake of the civil war.Tables A2 and A3, examining participation in workand compensation, include a dummy variable for anindividual’s migrant or non-migrant status. We concludeby discussing these results briefly. The disadvantageof these migrants relative to the native bornpopulation is indicated by their significantly lowerwages (Table A3). However, they seem to compensatefor these lower wages by working longer hoursso that, on net, their total earnings are not significantlydifferent from those who are native born. Thissuggests that these migrants have access to social networksthat give them access to employment sufficientto motivate migration to urban areas.REMITTANCES FROM INTERNATIONAL MIGRATIONSince at least the 1970s, remittances have been animportant source of wealth for the people of Yemenas well as for the government. The flow of remittancesfell dramatically in the early 1990s when Yemen’sspecial labor relationship with Saudi ArabiaFigure 3.5: Share of Internal Migrants Among Yemeni Youth60% of Migrants40200Rural Urban Sana’a CityMenWomenSource: HBS 2005/2006MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 31


changed and Yemeni workers returned from theGulf countries during the 1991 Gulf War. However,these flows have recovered somewhat, with nearly600,000 Yemeni emigrants working throughout theGulf, the United States and Europe. In 2007, totalofficial remittances to Yemen amounted to 6.7 percentof GDP, making Yemen the fifth largest recipientof remittances relative to GDP in the MiddleEast and North Africa region (Ratha and Zu 2008).In order to investigate the importance of remittancesin the lives of Yemeni youth, we first investigatethe total number of households that receiveremittances and the relative importance of these remittanceflows. In Figure 3.8 we report the share ofhouseholds and the share of youth-headed householdsreceiving remittances across Yemen. Nearly50 percent of households in rural areas and nearly40 percent of households in urban areas receive remittances.Interestingly, youth-headed householdsare somewhat more likely to receive remittances,possibly because youth with parents working abroadcan more easily afford to set up their own independenthousehold.To ascertain the importance of remittances foryouth-headed households that do receive them, wecompare the total value of these remittances withthe household wage income. In Figure 3.9 we showthat among youth-headed households that receiveremittances, remittance flows surpass other sourcesof household wage income in Aden and the ruralareas of the southern governorates of Al Bayda, Lahij,Abyan, Ad Dali’, Taiz and Ibb. In addition, remittancesaccount for well over half of householdwage income in Al Bayda, Lahij, Taiz, Ibb andSana’a City.QAT PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTIONThe production and consumption of qat play animportant role in the lives of young Yemenis. Sincethe 1970s, the cultivation of qat has risen dramaticallyand has provided an important source of ruralrevenue in the face of falling prices for grain (Colton2007). Consumption rates of qat are around 60 percentfor men and under 30 percent for women. 5However, several sources suggest that actual consumptionrates are significantly higher (Milanovic2007). One study estimates that 50 to 60 percent ofFigure 3.6: Origin of Internal Migrants by Current Location10080Born in a Rural Area% of Migrants6040Born in a Urban Area200Male Female Male Female Male FemaleRural Urban Sana’a CitySource: HBS 2005/200632MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


Figure 3.7: Destination of Youth Migrants by Region of OriginNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, AmranSouth: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’AdenTaiz, IbbMigrated within RegionMigrated to New RegionMigrated to Sana’aWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah, Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al MahrahSana’a City0 20 40 60 80% of MigrantsSource: HBS 2005/2006Figure 3.8: Share of Households Receiving RemittancesUrbanRuralNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf,AmranSouth: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’AdenTaiz, IbbWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al MahrahSana’a CitySource: HBS 2005/20060 20 40 60 0 20 40 60% of Households Receiving Remittances% of Youth-Headed Households Receiving RemittancesMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 33


Figure 3.9: Incomes for Youth Households Receiving RemittancesUrbanRuralNorth: Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf,AmranSouth: Al Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali’AdenTaiz, IbbWest: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, RemahEast: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al MahrahSana’a City0 100 200 300 400 0 100 200 300 4001000s of Riyals1000s of RiyalsTotal Household Annual Wage Income (all HHs)Total Household Annual Remittnce Income (all HHs)Source: HBS 2005/2006Figure 3.10: Expenditures on Qat Among Youth-Headed Households25RuralUrban% of Total ExpendituresSpent on Qat20151050IlliterateLiteratePrimaryLower SecondaryUpper SecondaryUniversityIlliterateLiteratePrimaryLower SecondaryUpper SecondaryUniversityAll HouseholdsAll Households Using QatSource: HBS 2005/200634MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


women and 80 to 85 percent of men chew at leastonce a week and the UNDP reports that 70 to 90percent of men and 30 to 50 percent of women consumeqat, though this latter number likely includesthose who only chew on special occasions (Kennedy1987, UNDP 2005).While qat production may have a positive impacton rural incomes, its consumption has a negativeimpact on Yemeni youth in two central ways. First,the consumption of qat among youth reduces productivitybecause significant amounts of time arespent both purchasing and consuming qat. Indeed,one estimate suggests that qat consumption reducesproductivity by as much as 25 percent (Governmentof Yemen 2007). Many people consume qat whileworking in agriculture, retail, transportation servicesor construction, which may negatively affectproductivity at work.Second, qat consumption places a sizable financialburden on youth and young families. Though thereis little evidence that qat expenditures substitute forfood expenditures, expenditures on qat are typicallyquite large and are likely substituting for other,more productive, uses for this money (Milanovic2007).In Figure 3.10 we can see that qat expendituresmake up nearly 20 percent of total expendituresamong youth-headed households that do consumeqat. Interestingly qat expenditures are higher in urbanareas, representing over 15 percent of total urbanexpenditures as compared to 10 percent in ruralareas, though this may be driven by consumption ofhome produced qat (Milanovic 2007). Qat expenditures,even in relative terms, increase with education.This occurs in part because incomes also increasewith education; one study has found a rise inthe share of qat users for increasing income deciles.As incomes increase monotonically with education,Figure 3.10 also demonstrates that qat expenditures,even in relative terms, increase with education. Thisis consistent with the finding of Milanovic (2007),who demonstrates a monotonic rise in the share ofqat users for increasing income deciles using the1998 Household Budget Survey. These findingssuggest that qat may function as a mechanism fortransferring wealth from the rich to the poor, assmall independent farmers are the most importantproducers of qat (Colton 2007).MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 35


IV. FAMILY FORMATIONMarriage and family formation have historicallybeen the indicators of the transition into adulthoodin Yemen. However, the changing economic andsocial environment has introduced complications inthe ability of youth to marry and have families. Inparticular, delays in the timing of marriage are frustratingmen and a lack of support for childbearingand rearing is creating new challenges for youngfamilies.The rising age of marriage for young men in bothrural and urban areas in recent years shows thatyoung men are delaying this important transition.While this is a cause of unhappiness for young men,young women are also experiencing a similar delaywhich is likely to have a positive development impact.Indeed, these women, who play a strong role inthe education of the next generation, had typicallycut short their educational and personal developmentto get married. Thus while delayed marriage iscausing angst among young men, it is likely to be aboon for young women and the next generation.Most young wives rapidly and frequently bear children.Thus, reproductive health, prenatal care, andchild outcomes for young mothers are central to thelives of female youth. Although the government ofYemen has made strides to improve access to women’shealth facilities, young women often struggle tofind the support they need to create healthy families.YEMENI WOMEN: EARLY MARRIAGE AND ITS DE-TERMINANTSMost Yemeni women marry at a young age. Accordingto the 2003 AFHS, the median age of marriagefor women born in 1978 was 19 in urban areas and18 in rural areas. 6 However, marriages for childrenas young as eight are reported. A 1992 family lawprohibits the marriage of girls under 15, but the lawhas never been effectively enforced and early marriageis still common (Worm 2007).Women marry significantly earlier than men, withrural women being particularly prone to early marriage(Figure 4.1). 7 We estimate a hazard model todetermine the factors that correlate with early marriage(Table A4). We find that the gap between ruraland urban females mostly disappears after accountingfor differences in the levels of female educationbetween rural and urban areas. This is unsurprisingFigure 4.1: Median Age of First Marriage for Yemeni Males and Females by Birth Cohort26Age at First Marriage242220181614121954195619581960196219641966196819701972197419761978Urban MalesUrban FemalesYear of BirthRural MalesRural FemalesNote: By using life table techniques, the figures shown above correct for the fact that a certain proportion of each cohort was not marriedat the time of the survey.Source: AFHS 200336MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


as female educational attainment and age of marriageare linked in several ways. First, women, whofor other unobserved reasons are likely to marrylater, may simply remain in school longer to obtainhigher social status. Second, most young womendiscontinue their education after marriage, eitherby choice or because their families or husbands donot allow them to continue. Finally, women who docomplete either secondary school or university usuallyget married shortly after they leave school.In addition to disrupting their education, early marriagehas important implications for the health andlivelihood of these young women. Early childbirth,especially during the teenage years, dramatically increasesthe chances of maternal and infant mortality(Rashad et al. 2005). According to the 2003 AFHS,the neonatal mortality rate for children born toteenage mothers was 60 per 1,000 live births, almosttwice as high as the rate for children born to mothersages 30 to 34. Indeed the World Bank claimsthat a third of maternal deaths can be directly linkedto early marriage (World Bank 2007). Further,women who marry young maximize their childbearingyears, and thus increase their total fertility.When coupled with men’s age at marriage, earlymarriage for women becomes even more problematicas it often implies a large age gap between husbandand wife. More than 96 percent of Yemeniwomen marry men who are older than they are, and50 percent of women marry men who are five ormore years older. This age gap may create powerimbalances within the household. Early marriage isalso troubling because many Yemeni women haveno say in who they marry. Of young females marriedbetween 1998 and 2003, less than 75 percentagreed to the marriage. While it was uncommon(less than 1 percent) for women to actively disagreewith the marriage, the remainder of the women reportedthat they either were not asked for theiropinion (11 percent) or they voluntarily kept silent(14 percent).YEMENI MEN: DELAYED MARRIAGE AND “WAIT-HOOD”Younger cohorts of Yemeni males, especially urbanmales, show signs of delaying marriage. As Figure4.1 shows, the average age of marriage has graduallyincreased for both sexes in both urban and ruralareas, with the age of marriage for urban malesshowing a significant jump among recent cohorts.The average age of marriage for urban males bornin 1960 was 22 years of age. This average rose to 24for cohorts of urban males born in 1966 through1975 and, finally, to 26 for cohorts born in 1977 and1978. In contrast, the average age of first marriagefor rural males rose only slightly during this timeperiod. For cohorts of rural males born between1960 and 1978, the average age of marriage roseonly two years, from 21 to 23. While the increase inthe marriage age for urban males in Yemen is not aslarge as in other parts of the Middle East, such asEgypt or Iran, the increase is nonetheless important(Assaad and Ramadan 2008, Salehi-Isfehani andEgel 2007).The hazard model above shows that education has asignificant effect in determining marriage ages,even after we control for rural-urban differences. Incontrast to females who delay marriage if they havemore education, education seems to lower the age offirst marriage for men. Literate men get marriedlater than illiterate men, but higher levels of educationdecreases the age of marriage. In particular,men with a primary, secondary and university educationmarry earlier than illiterate men. Educationmay signal to the bride’s family the potential suitor’sfuture wages. Furthermore, since education is tiedto family background, men with more education aremore likely to originate from better off families.This is in sharp contrast with the situation in Egypt,for instance, where education significantly raisesthe age at marriage for men. The main interpretationin this case is that although education raises aman’s earning potential and therefore makes himmore able to marry, it also raises his marriage expectationsin terms of the education and socioeconomicstatus of the wife he and his family aspire to.It appears that this second factor is not very strongin Yemen, where the education of potential brides islikely to be less important.Regional effects play a strong role in determining themarriage age of males. These effects are strongerthan the effects for women, but they follow the sameregional patterns. Men in more “modern” regions ofMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 37


the country, including Aden, Taiz and Ibb and theEast, marry later than men in other regions.The strong difference in marriage ages for urbanand rural males reflects a phenomenon common inother Middle Eastern countries in which men delaymarriage while they attempt to establish themselvesin the workplace (Salehi-Isfahani and Dhillon2008). Rural men in agricultural areas often marryyoung, following the norms of traditional agrariansocieties. Their families assist them in making thetransition to adulthood, since they too have followedthe same patterns. Men in urban parts of thecountry, however, find that their expectations forthe future clash with the expectations set forth by atraditional culture. These men try to establishthemselves by obtaining wage work, but they oftenhave trouble obtaining steady work. Without certaintyabout their future, these men delay marriageas they wait for things to come together in theirprofessional lives. This period of anxious waitinghas been dubbed “waithood” (Dhillon and Yousef2007, Singerman 2007). As educational attainmentgrows, urban migration continues, and the job markettightens, waithood is going to become an increasinglyprevalent phenomenon in Yemen, as urbanmen struggle to establish themselves in a worlddifferent from that of their parents.LIVING ARRANGEMENTSIn Yemen, marriage does not necessarily mean thestart of independent lives since many newlyweds donot form nuclear households but remain with theirparents or move in with their in-laws. Virtually allunmarried youth in Yemen live in their parentalhouseholds. The 2003 AFHS shows 96 percent ofunmarried men living with either their parents oranother relative and over 99 percent of unmarriedwomen doing so. This universality highlights theimportance of the family in Yemeni society andhints at the scarcity of affordable housing and opportunitiesfor employment outside of the familynetwork for unmarried young people. After marriage,most young men bring their brides into theirparents’ households. Over 60 percent of marriedyoung men live with their parents, and only 36 percentof married young men are heads of households.Somewhat surprisingly, there is little difference inliving arrangements for rural and urban youth.About 52 percent of young urban married men liveTable 4.1: Living Arrangements for Married Youth (Percent of Married Youth, 15-29)MalesFemalesUrban Rural Urban RuralNuclear Family (Independent Living) 34.0 40.0 49.0 48.5Parents 62.4 58.1 13.4 11.4In-Laws 2.0 1.7 37.5 40.1Other 1.5 0.2 0.2 0.1Source: AFHS 200338MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


with a relative, compared to 58 percent of youngrural married men. Young rural men are more likelyto be heads of households (40 percent) than youngurban men (34 percent). Outside of this rural-urbandivide, we find virtually no regional differences inliving arrangements for married men.As shown in Table 4.1, nearly 40 percent of marriedyoung women live with their in-laws compared to60 percent of married young men living with theirparents. This discrepancy is primarily due to thefact that women tend to marry older men, making itmore likely for these men to be able to afford independentliving in nuclear households. In fact nearly50 percent of young married women live in suchhouseholds compared to only 36 percent of youngmen.As noted earlier, young families in Yemen beginchildbearing early and space their children closely,leading to the very high fertility rate in the country.Moreover, women who have their first child at ayoung age often do not receive prenatal care. Accordingto the 2003 AFHS, only 57 percent ofwomen who had their first child as teenagers receivedprenatal care, compared to 65 percent ofwomen who were between 20 and 29 at their firstbirth and 80 percent of women who were over 30 attheir first birth. A significant reason for the lowrates of prenatal care seems to be a lack of access tohealth facilities. Living in a rural area dramaticallyreduces a woman’s chance of receiving prenatalcare, regardless of age. A significant proportion ofyoung women reported barriers to receiving prenatalcare, especially in rural areas. Over 20 percent ofyoung mothers in rural areas reported that they didnot receive prenatal care because the services weretoo far away or unavailable altogether. Only 5 percentof young mothers in urban areas reported thesame problems. Another 13 percent of young mothersin both urban and rural areas reported that prenatalcare was too expensive. Furthermore, Worm(2007) notes that one of the major challenges in accessto prenatal care is a lack of qualified femalephysicians, especially in rural areas.Infant and child mortality rates are especially highfor young mothers. According to the 2003 AFHS,the neonatal mortality rate for teenage mothers was60 per 1,000 live births, almost twice as high as theneonatal mortality rate of 34 deaths per 1,000 livebirths for children born to mothers ages 30 to 34.The infant mortality rate for teenage mothers was109.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 71.5for mothers ages 30 to 34. Finally, the mortality ratefor children under five was 133 deaths per 1,000 livebirths for teenage mothers compared to 97.7 formothers ages 30 to 34.REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH POLICIES IN YEMENWorm (2007) notes that the Government of Yemenhas publicly acknowledged women’s health challengesand has made many attempts to reduce fertilityin Yemen. However, she notes that family planningis a sensitive political issue and many attemptsat reforming population policies have met with debateand opposition. The unified Yemeni governmentenacted its first population legislation in 1991when it endorsed the National Population Strategy,which was later developed into the Population ActionPlan. This plan focused on furthering women’seducational and employment status, improvingtheir access to health care, and reforming family lawas a means of empowering women and delayingtheir fertility. This plan sparked competition andspirited debate between political parties aboutwomen’s health issues (Worm 2007).At the international level, Yemen participated inmultiple international conferences on populationissues, including the 1994 Cairo International Conferenceon Population and Development and the1995 Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women.Yemeni officials at these conferences were hesitantto interfere with parental power, condoneabortion, or support the provision of sexual educationto adolescents, but they reluctantly signed ontoagreements made at these conferences (Worm2007).The period between 1991 and 1996 was markedwith turmoil and contentious debate regardingwomen’s health issues. The Ministry of Health issuedmultiple conservative decrees on the topic, includingthe 1995 Five Year Health Plan and the1996 Shari’a Guidelines for Family Planning. ThesePlans focused on building facilities and neglectedother methods of lowering fertility rates such asMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 39


promoting contraceptive use. The guidelines includedconservative measures such as limiting contraceptiveuse until after the birth of a woman’sthird child and only if the husband agrees. The restof the government pressed for a more holistic approachat curbing the fertility rates. In 1996, Yemenheld another National Population Policy Conferencein which they created a new, more progressivePopulation Action Plan (Worm 2007).40MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


V. POLICY IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSThe Yemeni government recognizes the enormouschallenges of achieving greater youth inclusion inthe face of huge increases in the youth population.It has adopted an integrated childhood and youthstrategy to attempt to tackle these challenges. Thefull implementation of this strategy, however, isconstrained by a severe shortage of resources andlimited institutional and administrative capacity.In February 2006, the Government of Yemenlaunched the National Children and Youth Strategyin collaboration with UNICEF and the WorldBank, reflecting a commitment on the part of theYemeni government to improve circumstances foryouth. Yemen is the only nation in the Middle Eastto have set forth this type of strategy. The WorldBank calls the strategy a “huge positive step” towarda better understanding of youth issues and the creationof plans to assist youth (World Bank 2007).The goals of the national youth strategy are to assessthe status of children and youth in Yemen andanalyze the specific risks that affect each age group,especially in relation to achieving the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs). The strategy alsostrives to identify policies that affect youth and toassess their effects, with a large focus on developinginter-sectoral collaboration and a holistic approachto youth issues. 8The government’s strategy has yet to have farreachingeffects in Yemen. The overall consensusamong Yemenis is that the strategy is on the righttrack but, because of capacity issues, it will never befully implemented.BASIC AND SECONDARY EDUCATION DEVELOP-MENT STRATEGIESThrough the 2002 Education Development Strategyand the 2007 Secondary Education DevelopmentStrategy, the Government of Yemen has declaredits dedication to improving the educationsystem in Yemen and meeting the MDGs.The government has gone some way in implementingthese strategies. In September 2006, Yemenabolished school fees for girls in grades one throughsix and for boys in grades one through three (WorldBank 2007). In theory, this should eventually increasethe educational attainment of youth by reducingthe never-enrollment problem. However, aSchool Fee Abolition Impact Survey conducted in2007 determined that the abolition of fees had littleeffect on school enrollment for the poorest households(World Bank 2007). According to the thesisset forth by Al-Sharki et al. (2005), this result was tobe expected. Al-Sharki et al. argue that under-enrollmentis determined more by structural and qualityfactors than by the direct cost of schooling.Also in 2007, the Ministry of Education adopted aConditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, withthe goal of encouraging the retention of girls ingrades four through nine. Any girl who is enrolledor who re-enrolls in grades four through nine is eligibleto receive a transfer. The transfer is conditionalon maintaining at least an 80 percent attendancerate and a passing grade. The CCT was piloted intwo governorates during the 2007/08 academic year(World Bank 2007). While the impact of the CCTprogram is yet to be assessed, it is unlikely to addressby itself the structural barriers to girls’ education.Because the lack of female teachers has been identifiedas one of the primary obstacles for girls goingto school in rural areas, the government has beentrying to address this issue in multiple ways, includinggiving female teachers who are willing to locatein rural areas additional incentives such as housingbenefits and salary premiums. These attempts havegenerally proven unsustainable as few female teachersremain in the remote villages for very long.Currently, the government is attempting to qualifyfemale secondary school graduates from the villagesthemselves as teachers, to the extent that such graduatesare available.Yemen’s participation in the Trends in InternationalMathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) test in2007 shows the Ministry of Education’s commitmentto monitoring and improving quality (WorldBank 2007). Yemen’s participation in the tests increasesthe transparency of the nation’s educationsystem and perhaps puts pressure on the MOE toincrease quality. Unfortunately, in 2008, Yemen wasthe lowest-performing country, with fourth gradersobtaining lower average scores in fourth grademathematics and science tests than all 35 other participatingcountries (Martin et al. 2008, Mullis et al.MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 41


2008). Worthy of note, however, is that Yemen wasone of eight countries where girls’ achievement surpassedthat of boys in fourth grade mathematics(Mullis et al. 2008).THE TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND VOCATIONALTRAINING STRATEGYThe primary focus of Yemen’s Technical Educationand Vocational Training Strategy was to shift froma supply-driven approach to a demand-driven orientation.The strategy identifies a number of goalsincluding diversification of offerings, better establishedlinks to labor market needs, devolution ofmanagerial responsibility to the training center levelto allow for better responsiveness, and diversificationof funding sources.The technical and vocational education and training(TVET) system is currently very small and absorbsonly 3.2 percent of secondary school enrollment.There are also concerns that the system isstill essentially closed to young women.In the strategy, the TVET system is slated for expansion,with the goal of reaching 15 percent ofstudents in secondary and higher education. Thisexpansion should be viewed with caution, as theMinistry of Technical Education and VocationalTraining has started to establish TVET facilitiesacross the country, with little regard to demand orexpense. The Ministry has promised to reform thesystem, but little progress has been made towardsthese reforms although construction of new facilitiescontinues at full speed (World Bank 2007). Ensuringthat the system is demand-driven and respondsto the needs of the market is likely to be ahuge challenge given the existing incentives and organizationalstructure of training providers. 9POLICY ISSUES RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT ANDLIVELIHOODHere we discuss three types of policies that we believeare essential in addressing many of the difficultiesfaced by youth in the employment and livelihoodtransition. While the Yemeni government hasalready made progress on two of these policies, increasingforeign investment and reducing qat consumptionamong youth, more work still remains tobe done. The third recommendation—passing labormarket reforms to encourage small and mediumsize firms to join the formal economy—has not beenseriously pursued, though we believe that these reformsare important for making the Yemeni privatesector internationally competitive.First, in order to expand the size of the private sectorand create jobs, Yemen needs to continue to improveits ability to attract foreign investment. Someprogress has been made in recent years and the benefitswill only be realized in the next five to tenyears. Indeed, in 2006, as part of a new economicdevelopment program, Yemen attracted $5 billionin development aid, with over half coming from thecountries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)(MDG Monitor 2008). This economic developmentprogram has improved investment laws andconditions for foreign investors in an effort to increaseinvestment from countries in the Gulf andthroughout the world (Javedanfar 2005).A major reason for low levels of foreign investmentin Yemen in recent times is the uncertain securitysituation. The importance of security in attractingforeign investment is highlighted by the decline inforeign investment, particularly in the South, afterthe bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 and theLimburg, a French supertanker, in 2002. The frequentkidnappings of foreigners in the 1990s had asimilarly negative impact on investment in the tourismsector in particular. Despite recent efforts toimprove security, such as the banning of guns in cities,there have been several recent fatal attacks ontourists in high profile tourist areas such as Ma’riband Shibam. Further, the attack on the U.S. embassyin 2008 in the typically secure capital of Sana’ais a strong reminder of the security difficulties thatforeign companies may face if they choose to investin Yemen.Second, policies designed to encourage private sectorfirms to formalize would likely be beneficial forboth these firms and for young people. These privatesector firms currently have difficulty attractingthe highest caliber of young people, which is essentialfor their success in a competitive internationalmarketplace. In fact, the government is nearly thesole provider of these preferred formal positions.Thus, efforts to reduce the cost of formality for42MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


these private sector firms—through either tax incentivesas has been done elsewhere in the region orby partial subsidization of health care or pensions—would be potentially beneficial to firms and youthalike.Though President Saleh has made a significant effortto reduce qat consumption by banning its useduring official meetings and in government buildingsand by publicly reducing his own qat consumptionto only one day a week (Friday), youth consumptionof qat still remains quite high and sociallyacceptable. The President’s approach and the effortsof other organizations, such as the CombatingQat Damage Association, to publicize the negativehealth impacts of qat are unlikely to be sufficient.Indeed, combining these efforts with more activepolicies to at least reduce the frequency of consumptionas well as discourage qat consumption amongthe very young (many children begin chewing asyoung as at age four or five) would be advisable.SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEMSYemen has an extensive yet inadequate social supportsystem. The main agency delivering social assistance,the Social Welfare Fund, has a budget of0.5 percent of the GDP, 20 times less than what isspent on subsidizing petroleum products. In contrast,South Asian countries spend about 2 percentof their GDP on social protection (World Bank2007). Moreover, the services and assistance providedby these social protection programs often leakto non-deserving individuals, provide inadequatefinancing to close the poverty gap for poor familiesthat do receive benefits, and have high administrativecosts (World Bank 2007). Other types of socialprotection such as pensions and benefits for governmentemployees fail to reach youth who havetrouble obtaining government positions.THE WAY FORWARDYemen faces enormous challenges in human developmentthat especially affect its youth population.The government has signaled its awareness of theseissues by being the only Arab country to have issueda National Youth Strategy. However, due to majorresource and financial constraints and even morelimited institutional capacity, this strategy has notbeen fully implemented. 10 The following threebroad recommendations can guide policymakers indealing with issues affecting youth inclusion in Yemen.In addition, the role of development assistanceis critical in helping Yemen overcome its twin humandevelopment and natural resource deficits.First, use a holistic approach in assisting youth. Aswe have mentioned throughout this paper, the challengesfacing youth are multi-dimensional and interdependent.Instead of focusing on the single dimensionsof youth exclusion, the government ofYemen and international donors should focus onstrategies that assist youth in multiple ways andacross multiple markets.Second, improve access for women and girls. Womenare often implicitly and explicitly discouragedfrom fully participating in the public sphere in Yemen.Education, health care, and the labor marketneed to become more conducive to female participation.Schools need to be made safer, more accessible,and, in general, more girl-friendly environments.More female doctors are needed to providewomen with adequate health care, and firms mustincrease the hiring rate of women and strive to createmore female-friendly work places. Policymakersshould focus not just on the number of women participatingbut also the percentage of women whoare leaders and managers in these fields.Third, focus on micro-institutional factors. Thegovernment of Yemen has focused on large-scaleprojects such as building schools or health facilities.While there is no doubt that Yemen needs more ofthese facilities, indiscriminate building of facilitieswill fail to assist many of Yemen’s socially excludedyouth unless the rules of the game change. On onehand, parents and youth must get the correct signalsabout what it takes to succeed in Yemeni societyand must be empowered to act on these signals.On the other hand, service providers must get theright incentives to respond to the needs and wishesof their clients. This implies a greater degree ofcompetition among service providers and a rewardsystem that depends on performance.Finally, given the magnitude of the challenges facingYemen and its twin deficits in human and naturalresources, the country will need to receive con-MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 43


siderable assistance from the outside world to ensurea brighter future for its young population. This assistanceshould come from Western donors as wellas from Yemen’s oil-rich neighbors in the ArabianPeninsula. A large injection of development assistanceon the part of Yemen’s richer neighbors wouldbe an excellent investment in regional stability. Theneighboring Gulf countries should also consideradopting more open migration policies with respectto Yemeni labor to relieve some of the intense pressureon Yemen’s limited arable land resources andits overcrowded urban labor markets.44MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


ANNEX ITable A1: Hazard Model for Years of EducationBoth Males Females(1) (2) (3) (4)Female 0.69** 0.73**(0.01) (0.02)Urban -0.66** -0.47** -0.08** -0.95**(0.01) (0.02) (0.02) (0.03)Migrant 0.18** 0.15** 0.01 0.23**(0.02) (0.02) (0.03) (0.02)Mother’s Education: 1Read & Write -0.39** -0.04 -1.09**(0.02) (0.04) (0.04)Primary -0.42** 0.07 -1.21**(0.03) (0.06) (0.06)Lower Secondary -0.66** -0.02 -1.52**(0.03) (0.05) (0.05)High School -0.81** -0.06 -1.70**(0.02) (0.04) (0.05)University -0.87** -0.05 -1.73**(0.03) (0.05) (0.05)Father’s Education: 1Read & Write 0.00 -0.23** 0.17**(0.03) (0.04) (0.04)Primary -0.02 -0.37** 0.23**(0.03) (0.05) (0.05)Lower Secondary -0.09** -0.64** 0.28**(0.03) (0.05) (0.04)High School -0.17** -0.82** 0.22**(0.03) (0.04) (0.04)University -0.34** -1.02** -0.02(0.03) (0.05) (0.04)Region: 2South: Al Bayda, Abyan, Lahij, Ad Dali’ -0.17** -0.11** 0.05 -0.38**(0.02) (0.03) (0.04) (0.04)Aden -0.32** -0.18** 0.1 -0.41**(0.04) (0.04) (0.07) (0.06)Taiz, Ibb -0.41** -0.33** -0.05 -0.69**(0.02) (0.02) (0.04) (0.04)West: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, Remah -0.06** -0.07** 0.10** -0.30**(0.02) (0.02) (0.03) (0.03)East: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al Mahrah -0.07** -0.10** 0.09* -0.41**(0.03) (0.03) (0.04) (0.04)Sana’a City -0.36** -0.28** -0.05 -0.55**(0.03) (0.03) (0.04) (0.04)Corrected for Heterogeneity? Yes Yes Yes YesN = 175726 145283 76596 68687Log-likelihood value -68989.2 -55825.0 -25680.6 -29248.1Note: Standard Errors in parentheses.1: Excluded education group is illiterate.2: Excluded region is Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, Amran (North).MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 45


Table A2: Factors Determining Participation in Market and Non-Market Work Among Youth (15-29)`EngageinMarketWork?Both Men WomenEngagein Non-MarketWork?EngageinMarketWork?Engagein Non-MarketWork?EngageinMarketWork?Engagein Non-MarketWork?Dependent Variable for Probit:Female -1.89** 3.12**(0.03) (0.03)Married 0.03 0.18** 0.41** -0.06 -0.42** 0.30**(0.03) (0.03) (0.04) (0.06) (0.05) (0.04)Migrant 0.05 -0.02 0.07* -0.12 0.10* -0.02(0.03) (0.03) (0.04) (0.07) (0.04) (0.04)Age 0.07* -0.01 0.14** -0.21** 0.02 0.07(0.03) (0.04) (0.04) (0.07) (0.06) (0.05)Age-squared -0.00 0.00 -0.00* 0.00* 0.00 -0.00(0.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00)Urban -0.07** -0.26** -0.01 -0.41** -0.17** -0.18**(0.03) (0.03) (0.03) (0.05) (0.05) (0.05)Education: 1Read & Write 0.33** -0.06 0.41** -0.30** 0.09 0.04(0.03) (0.04) (0.05) (0.07) (0.05) (0.05)Primary 0.28** -0.10 0.27** -0.18 0.13 -0.02(0.05) (0.07) (0.07) (0.11) (0.09) (0.10)Lower Secondary 0.41** -0.18** 0.43** -0.40** 0.23** 0.00(0.04) (0.05) (0.06) (0.09) (0.08) (0.08)High School 0.22** -0.23** 0.15** -0.32** 0.27** -0.16**(0.04) (0.05) (0.05) (0.08) (0.06) (0.06)University 0.65** -0.40** 0.15* -0.18 1.13** -0.50**(0.05) (0.06) (0.07) (0.11) (0.07) (0.08)Region: 2South: Al Bayda, Abyan, Lahij, Ad Dali’ -0.55** 0.22** -0.47** 0.55** -0.70** -0.00(0.04) (0.05) (0.05) (0.08) (0.07) (0.06)Aden -0.78** -0.02 -0.80** -0.09 -0.62** -0.08(0.06) (0.07) (0.07) (0.18) (0.11) (0.09)Taiz, Ibb -0.32** 0.12* -0.23** 0.15 -0.49** 0.08(0.04) (0.05) (0.05) (0.09) (0.07) (0.07)West: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, Remah -0.03 0.24** 0.09* 0.49** -0.25** 0.04(0.03) (0.04) (0.04) (0.08) (0.05) (0.06)East: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al Mahrah -0.31** -0.03 -0.23** -0.07 -0.38** -0.07(0.04) (0.06) (0.06) (0.12) (0.07) (0.07)Sana’a City -0.29** 0.09 -0.34** 0.38** -0.21** -0.10(0.04) (0.06) (0.06) (0.11) (0.07) (0.07)N = 21500 21500 9424 9424 12076 12076Log-likelihood value -8476.6 -4690.5 -5451.2 -1709.7 -2739.4 -2843.1Note: Standard Errors in parentheses.1: Excluded education group is illiterate.2: Excluded region is Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, Amran (North).46MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


Table A3: Factors Affecting The Hourly Wages and Total Monthly Earnings of Youth (15-29)Hourly WagesTotal EarningsDependent variable (in logs): Both Men Women Both Men WomenFemale 0.16** -0.03(0.05) (0.05)Migrant -0.07* -0.07* -0.04 -0.00 -0.01 0.08(0.03) (0.03) (0.07) (0.03) (0.03) (0.07)Age 0.04 0.03 0.22 0.07 0.07 0.19(0.04) (0.05) (0.13) (0.04) (0.04) (0.12)Age-squared 0.00 0.00 -0.00 -0.00 -0.00 -0.00(0.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00)Urban 0.07* 0.06 0.17 0.03 0.02 0.19(0.03) (0.03) (0.14) (0.03) (0.03) (0.13)Education: 1Read & Write 0.16** 0.14* 0.10 0.23** 0.20** 0.13(0.05) (0.05) (0.16) (0.05) (0.05) (0.15)Primary 0.31** 0.27** 0.67** 0.38** 0.35** 0.54*(0.07) (0.07) (0.24) (0.07) (0.07) (0.24)Lower Secondary 0.48** 0.43** 0.97** 0.55** 0.50** 1.02**(0.05) (0.06) (0.15) (0.05) (0.06) (0.15)High School 0.74** 0.70** 1.03** 0.81** 0.76** 1.16**(0.05) (0.06) (0.14) (0.05) (0.06) (0.13)University 1.21** 1.19** 1.34** 1.18** 1.15** 1.37**(0.06) (0.07) (0.13) (0.06) (0.06) (0.13)Region: 2South: Al Bayda, Abyan, Lahij, Ad Dali’ -0.13** -0.13* -0.18 -0.04 -0.03 -0.13(0.05) (0.05) (0.14) (0.05) (0.05) (0.14)Aden -0.26** -0.21** -0.60** -0.02 0.03 -0.33*(0.07) (0.08) (0.17) (0.07) (0.08) (0.16)Taiz, Ibb -0.23** -0.24** -0.21 -0.03 -0.02 -0.19(0.05) (0.05) (0.14) (0.05) (0.05) (0.14)West: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah,Dhamar, Remah -0.23** -0.25** -0.21 -0.05 -0.06 0.03(0.04) (0.04) (0.12) (0.04) (0.04) (0.12)East: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al Mahrah 0.52** 0.54** 0.26 0.72** 0.73** 0.43*(0.05) (0.05) (0.18) (0.05) (0.05) (0.17)Sana’a City 0.19** 0.23** -0.03 0.30** 0.33** 0.08(0.05) (0.06) (0.13) (0.05) (0.05) (0.13)R-squared 0.29 0.26 0.47 0.27 0.25 0.48N = 5092 4609 483 5097 4614 483Note: Standard Errors in parentheses.1: Excluded education group is illiterate.2: Excluded region is Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, Amran (North).MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 47


Table A4: Hazard Model for Age of MarriageMalesFemales(1) (2) (3) (4)log(40 - age) 3.62** 4.85** 5.73** 4.32**(0.56) (0.40) (0.52) (0.47)log (age - 7) 4.74** 4.75** 4.99** 5.20**(0.18) (0.17) (0.13) (0.14)Urban -0.46** -0.47** -0.33** 0.24**(0.07) (0.06) (0.06) (0.07)Education: 1Read & Write -1.19** -0.71**(0.12) (0.07)Primary 0.66** -0.63**(0.08) (0.09)Lower Secondary 0.28** -1.50**(0.08) (0.10)High School 0.37** -2.28**(0.07) (0.13)University 0.94** -3.16**(0.10) (0.24)Region: 2South: Al Bayda, Abyan, Lahij, Ad Dali’ -0.27** -0.08 -0.32** -0.16(0.10) (0.08) (0.08) (0.09)Aden -0.98** -0.70** -1.02** -0.76**(0.19) (0.16) (0.14) (0.15)Taiz, Ibb -0.25** -0.21** -0.38** -0.22**(0.08) (0.06) (0.07) (0.07)West: Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Al Hodeidah, Dhamar,Remah -0.12 0.02 0.04 0.04(0.08) (0.06) (0.06) (0.07)East: Shabwah, Hadramaut, Al Mahrah -0.61** -0.41** -0.67** -0.66**(0.12) (0.10) (0.10) (0.10)Sana’a City -0.09 -0.07 -0.17 0.11(0.12) (0.10) (0.10) (0.11)Corrected for Heterogeneity? Yes Yes Yes YesN = 237325 236541 155359 154760Log-likelihood value -15702.5 -15431.2 -21889.5 -21422.4Note: Standard Errors in parentheses.1: Excluded education group is illiterate.2: Excluded region is Sana’a, Sa’adah, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, Amran (North).48MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


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ENDNOTES1.2.See Dhillon and Yousef (2007) and Singerman (2007)for more on the “waithood” phenomenon.The Yemen Family Health Survey was conducted aspart of the 2003 Arab Family Health Survey (AFHS2003) by the Ministry of Health and Population andthe Pan Arab Project for Family Health.10.Interviews with several stakeholders suggest thatgovernment and donors have earmarked only $2-3million (out of an overall budget of approximately$50 million) toward the implementation of the NationalYouth Strategy to date.3.These calculations are based on responses to theCentral Statistical Office’s Household Budget Survey(HBS 2005/2006) which most likely under-estimatethe problem of delayed entry in Yemen. Sincebirth registrations are not required, a child’s age frequentlymust be estimated upon entry into the schoolsystem (Al-Sharki et al 2005). Since the recommendedschool entry age is six, families might feel pressuredto state that their child is six whether or notthis is truly the case.4.In Table A2, a negative coefficient means the correspondingfactor makes one less likely to engage inthe given type of work – market or non-market.5.Estimated by comparing the self-reported qat usagerates among youth from AFHS 2003 and HBS2005/2006.6.This cohort is the focus because 1978 is the latestcohort with reliable data available.7.For this analysis, we use the 2003 AFHS to conducta survival time analysis of the age at first marriage forcohorts of Yemenis born between 1954 and 1978.We then estimate a hazard model to determine thefactors that correlate with early marriage. This modelconfirms our descriptive analysis, which showsrural females marrying earlier than urban females.See Binzel and Assaad (2009 forthcoming) for moredetails.8.See: Republic of Yemen, “The National Childrenand Youth Strategy of the Republic of Yemen 2006-2015, Executive Summary.” http://www.bankofideas.com.au/Newsletter/Downloads/Executive_Summary_National_Agenda_Yemen.pdf.9.TVET in other countries, such as Egypt, is commonlyknown to be of poor quality and to equipgraduates with poor workplace opportunities. Thisaffects incentives for young people to enroll in thissystem.MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 51


ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVEOur MissionTo develop and implement a regional action plan for promotingthe economic and social inclusion of young peoplein the Middle East.Creating Alliances for Maximum ProgressThe Middle East Youth Initiative’s objective is toaccelerate the international community’s ability tobetter understand and respond to the changingneeds of young people in the Middle East. By creatingan international alliance of academics, policymakers,youth leaders and leading thinkers from theprivate sector and civil society, we aim to developand promote a progressive agenda of youth inclusion.The Middle East Youth Initiative was launched inJuly 2006 by the Wolfensohn Center for Developmentat the Brookings Institution in partnershipwith the Dubai School of Government.Connecting Ideas with ActionThe initiative blends activities in an attempt tobridge the divide between thinkers and practitionersand utilizes robust research as a foundation foreffective policy and programs. The initiative hasthree complementary pillars:Research and Policy: Pathways to InclusionWith this initiative, cutting-edge research advancesthe understanding of economic and social issues affectingyoung people. The main target group isyouth 15 to 29 years old, with a special focus onyoung men and women who live in urban areas andhave secondary or post-secondary education. In additionto addressing needs of older youth, the initiativewill also focus on strategies for promoting developmentof youth 15 years and under in areassuch as primary education, skills development andcommunity participation.• Marriage• Housing• Civic participationOur goal is to examine the relationship betweeneconomic and social policies and generate new recommendationsthat promote inclusion.Advocacy and Networking: Creating Vital ConnectionsThe initiative aspires to be a hub for knowledge andideas, open to all stakeholders who can make changehappen. Strong partnerships with policymakers,government officials, representatives from the privatesector and civil society organizations, donorsand the media will pioneer forms of dialogue thatbridge the divide between ideas and action. Bybringing in the voice and new perspectives of youngpeople, the initiative will revitalize debate on developmentin the Middle East.Practical Action: Life-Changing ImpactOutcomes matter. With a focus on areas with thegreatest potential for innovation and impact, theinitiative will mobilize partners for practical actionthat can improve young people’s lives. The initiativewill help develop policies and program interventionswhich provide youth with skills, expandopportunities for employment and facilitate accessto credit, housing and civic participation.The research framework focuses on youth making twomajor transitions to adulthood: i) the transition fromeducation to employment; and ii) the transition tohousehold formation (marriage and family). Researchwill concentrate on strategies to achieve inclusion in:• Quality education• Quality employment52MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN


ABOUT THE WOLFENSOHN CENTER FORDEVELOPMENTThe Wolfensohn Center for Development at theBrookings Institution was founded in July 2006 byJames D. Wolfensohn, former president of theWorld Bank and member of the Brookings Board ofTrustees.The Wolfensohn Center for Development analyzeshow resources, knowledge and implementation capabilitiescan be combined toward broad-basedeconomic and social change in a four-tier world.The following principles guide the center’s work:• A focus on impact, scaling-up and sustainabilityof development interventions• Bridging the gap between development theoryand practice to bring about action• Giving voice to developing countries, with highlevelpolicy engagement and• broad networking• A rigorous, independent research approachthat draws from multiple disciplines• Working in partnership with othersABOUT THE DUBAI SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENTThe Dubai School of Government is a research andteaching institution focusing on public policy in theArab world. Established in 2004 under the patronageof HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Vice President and Prime Minister of theUnited Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, theschool aims to promote good governance by enhancingthe region’s capacity for effective publicpolicy.Toward this goal, the Dubai School of Governmentcollaborates with international institutions such asHarvard University’s John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment and the Lee Kuan Yew School of PublicPolicy in its research and training programs. Inaddition, the school organizes policy forums andinternational conferences to facilitate the exchangeof ideas and promote critical debate on public policyin the Arab world.The school is committed to the creation of knowledge,the dissemination of best practice and thetraining of policy makers in the Arab world. Toachieve this mission, the school is developing strongcapabilities to support research and teaching programsincluding:• Applied research in public policy and management• Masters degrees in public policy and publicadministration• Executive education for senior officials andexecutives• Knowledge forums for scholars and policy makersMIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE WORKING PAPER | YOUTH EXCLUSION IN YEMEN 53


MIDDLE EAST YOUTH INITIATIVE Visit us at: http://www.shababinclusion.orgWolfensohn Center for Development1775 Massachusetts Ave, NWWashington, DC 20036Tel: 202-797-6000wolfensohncenter@brookings.eduwww.brookings.edu/wolfensohncenterDubai School of GovernmentConvention Tower, Level 13P.O. Box 72229Dubai, United Arab EmiratesTel: 9714-329-3290info@dsg.ae www.dsg.ae

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