Is Pro-Labor Law Pro-Women? Evidence from India

44 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2011 Last revised: 27 Aug 2014

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Date Written: March 1, 2011


I study the effects of state-level differences in labor regulation on labor market outcomes of women in India. Using a representative sample of urban households from 2005, I find that labor regulation has a large negative effect on women’s economic activity, mainly employment. My estimates suggest that a one standard deviation increase in the labor regulation measure decreases the probability of a woman being economically active by 3% to 4% — the implied decrease in female labor force is between 15% and 18%. The effects on men’s participation are around zero. I do not find labor regulation to have a significant effect on male wages or the gender wage gap. Finally, labor regulation is associated with women having less say at home and lower sex ratio.

Suggested Citation

Montag, Josef, Is Pro-Labor Law Pro-Women? Evidence from India (March 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Josef Montag (Contact Author)

Charles University ( email )

nam. Curieovych 7
Prague 1, 11640
Czech Republic


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