Women Workers in India: Why so Few Among so Many?

32 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2015

See all articles by Sonali Das

Sonali Das

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Sonali Jain-Chandra

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics

Kalpana Kochhar

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Naresh Kumar

UC Santa Cruz

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of female labor force participation in India, against the backdrop of India having one of the lowest participation rates for women among peer countries. Using extensive Indian household survey data, we model the labor force participation choices of women, conditional on demographic characteristics and education, as well as looking at the influence of state-level labor market flexibility and other state policies. Our main finding is that a number of policy initiatives can help boost female economic participation in the states of India, including increased labor market flexibility, investment in infrastructure, and enhanced social spending.

Keywords: Labor force participation, India, Women, Employment, Job creation, Informal sector, Female labor force participation, labor market regulation, informal labor markets, India., labor supply, unemployment, workers, jobs, labor market rigidities

JEL Classification: J16, J48, O17

Suggested Citation

Das, Sonali and Jain-Chandra, Sonali and Kochhar, Kalpana and Kumar, Naresh, Women Workers in India: Why so Few Among so Many? (March 2015). IMF Working Paper No. 15/55. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2594138

Sonali Das (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Sonali Jain-Chandra

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Kalpana Kochhar

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Naresh Kumar

UC Santa Cruz ( email )

Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

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