Why are Fewer Married Women Joining the Work Force in India? A Decomposition Analysis Over Two Decades

41 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Farzana Afridi

Farzana Afridi

Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi

Taryn Dinkelman

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Kanika Mahajan

Indian Statistical Institute

Abstract

Unlike the global trend, India has witnessed a secular decline in women's employment rates over the past few decades. We use parametric and semi-parametric decomposition techniques to show that changes in individual and household attributes fully account for the fall in women's labor force participation rate in 1987-1999 and account for half of the decline in this rate in 1999-2009. Our findings underscore increasing education levels amongst rural married women and the men in their households as the most prominent attributes contributing to this decline. We provide suggestive evidence that a rise in more educated women's returns to home production, relative to their returns in the labor market, may have adversely affected female labor force participation rates in India.

Keywords: female labor force participation, decomposition analysis, education, India

JEL Classification: J21, J22

Suggested Citation

Afridi, Farzana and Dinkelman, Taryn and Mahajan, Kanika, Why are Fewer Married Women Joining the Work Force in India? A Decomposition Analysis Over Two Decades. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9722. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731985

Farzana Afridi (Contact Author)

Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi ( email )

7, S.J.S. Sansanwal Marg
New Delhi
India

Taryn Dinkelman

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Kanika Mahajan

Indian Statistical Institute ( email )

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