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Abstract
 
The Puzzling Decline in Rural Women’s Labour Force Participation in India: A Re-examination

Between 2004/05 and 2009/10, there was a sharp fall in the female labour
force participation (LFP) in rural India. Why did this occur? We look at the
four standard explanations for this: that more women in rural areas are now
pursuing higher education and are, therefore, not available for work (the
education effect), that household incomes are rising quickly enough, which is
why there is a tendency for women to withdraw from the labour force to attend
to domestic duties (the income effect), that employment opportunities for women
are decreasing, and that social and cultural factors may be interacting with
these three factors and amplifying their effects. Our findings suggest that the
decline in rural women’s LFP could potentially be due to an income effect and
partly due to an education effect. We find no evidence of changes in employment
opportunities or of social and cultural interaction effects that could explain the
decline in rural female LFP.

 
 
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59th Annual Conference of ISLE
Venue: 16-18 December 2017, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
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