Indian Matchmaking: Are Working Women Penalized in the Marriage Market? 1

50 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2023

See all articles by Diva Dhar

Diva Dhar

University of Oxford; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Abstract

This paper shares results from an online experiment to assess whether working women face a penalty in the marriage market in India. Using a randomized controlled trial on a popular Indian matchmaking website, I find that profiles of women who signal wanting to work after marriage receive upto 22 per cent less interest from men than those of women who have never worked. Women willing to give up work after marriage face a lower penalty. In a country characterized by low female labor force participation and near-universal marriage rates, these findings on marital preferences may help explain the role of gender norms in shaping women’s labor supply decisions in India.

Keywords: marriage, female labor force participation, correspondence studies, gender norms

Suggested Citation

Dhar, Diva, Indian Matchmaking: Are Working Women Penalized in the Marriage Market? 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4479657 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4479657

Diva Dhar (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

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