A pluralist account of labour participation in India

Type Working Paper - Global Poverty Research Group Working Paper
Title A pluralist account of labour participation in India
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
URL http://economics.ouls.ox.ac.uk/14041/1/gprg-wps-042.pdf
Labour force participation in India is found to respond to a plurality of causal mechanisms. Employment and unpaid labour are both measured using the 1999/2000 Indian National Sample Survey. Menís labour-force participation stood at 85% and womenís at 35%. The overall rate of labour force participation among women had fallen since 1989. Regression reveals a U curve of female employment by education levels. Many women at the bottom of the U are doing extra-domestic work, so a detailed measurement of both domestic work and other unpaid work is provided. Women in the Muslim cultural group do more extra-domestic work (and are more likely to be ëinactiveí) than women in other cultural groups. Economic poverty causes employment to be more likely. We use retroduction to interpret the regressions of labour force participation. We provide a number of reasons which could explain both the work patterns and the housewifisation pattern.

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