Female Business Ownership and Informal Sector Persistence

36 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 D. O'Connell

CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics; World Bank

Date Written: September 1, 2013

Abstract

The informal sector in India has been exceptionally persistent over the past two decades. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. This paper shows that a substantial share of the persistence in India's unorganized manufacturing sector is due to the rapid increase in female-owned businesses. Had women's participation remained in the proportion to male-owned businesses that was evident in 1994, the unorganized manufacturing sector would have declined in share rather than increased. Most of these new female-owned businesses are opened in the household and at a small scale, about a third of the size of a typical male-owned business in the informal sector. Yet, it appears that these businesses offer economic opportunities not otherwise present and a transition for some women from unpaid domestic work.

Keywords: E-Business, Banks & Banking Reform, Population Policies, Housing & Human Habitats, Gender and Health

Suggested Citation

Ghani, Ejaz and Kerr, William R. and O'Connell, Stephen D., Female Business Ownership and Informal Sector Persistence (September 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6612. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2328451

Ejaz Ghani (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
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William R. Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

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

Stephen D. O'Connell

CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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