What Explains Big Gender Disparities in India? Local Industrial Structures and Female Entrepreneurship

41 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Syed Ejaz Ghani

Syed Ejaz Ghani

World Bank

William Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Stephen O’Connell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 1, 2012

Abstract

Despite rapid economic growth, gender disparities in women's economic participation have remained deep and persistent in India. What explains these huge gender disparities? Is it poor infrastructure, limited education, and gender composition of the labor force and industries? Or is it deficiencies in social and business networks and a low share of incumbent female entrepreneurs?This paper analyzes the spatial determinants of female entrepreneurship in India in the manufacturing and services sectors. Good infrastructure and education predict higher female entry shares. There are strong agglomeration economies in both manufacturing and services, where higher female ownership among incumbent businesses within a district-industry predicts a greater share of subsequent entrepreneurs will be female. Moreover, higher female ownership of local businesses in related industries (similar labor needs, input-output markets) predicts greater relative female entry rates. Gender networks thus clearly matter for women's economic participation. However, there is a need to develop a better understanding of how gender networks influence aggregate efficiency. There is no doubt that gender empowerment can be the escalator to realizing human potential and for creating a robust platform for growth and job creation.

Keywords: Banks & Banking Reform, Housing & Human Habitats, Water and Industry, E-Business, Gender and Law

Suggested Citation

Ghani, Ejaz and Kerr, William R. and O’Connell, Stephen, What Explains Big Gender Disparities in India? Local Industrial Structures and Female Entrepreneurship (October 1, 2012). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6228. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2162342

Ejaz Ghani (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

William R. Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Stephen O’Connell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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