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Who hires foreign domestic workers? Evidence from Lebanon

Foreign domestic workers' activities provide important market and non-market services in a large number of middle-income countries as these activities have an impact on the labor force participation and time allocation decisions of household members. This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of foreign domestic workers' employment using a socio-economic dataset from Lebanon. Controlling for household, household head, dwelling and regional characteristics, contrary to popular beliefs we find that the size of the household and the presence of elderly persons are not important determinants of the hiring decision of foreign domestic workers, while the probability of hiring a domestic worker is significantly higher for households with children and disabled persons. Interestingly, we find that the number of rooms in the residence rather than its total surface area or type to be the only relevant dwelling characteristic. The paper offers insights about the demand for foreign domestic workers that may be useful to policy makers in developing nations.
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