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WEDGE Postdoctoral Research Associate
Women's Empowerment: Data for Gender Equality
Located in About the Center / Employment Opportunities
Using IHDS Data to Explore Inequality in India
Sonalde Desai and Reeve Vanneman study the "Determinants of Maternal and Child Health in India"
Located in Research / Selected Research
India Human Development Survey Second Wave (IDHS-II)
An NICHD grant valued at about $2.5 million over five years is funding the second wave of survey research for IHDS
Located in Research / Selected Research
Article Reference Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheetThe Paradox of Declining Female Work Participation in an Era of Economic Growth
The past three decades have seen the advent of major transformations in the Indian economy. The economy has achieved average growth rates of 5–9%, education has risen sharply for both men and women, fertility rates have declined, and infrastructure facilities, particularly access to electricity, cooking gas and piped water, have improved. All these factors are expected to reduce the demand for women’s time spent in domestic chores and increase their opportunities for paid work. Paradoxically, however, the National Sample Surveys document a substantial decline in women’s work participation rates (WPRs), particularly for rural women. Optimistic interpretation of these trends suggests that increasing prosperity accounts for women’s labour force withdrawal. For young women, rising school and college enrolment is incompatible with demands of the workforce. For both young and older women, rising prosperity allows for withdrawal from economic activities to focus on domestic duties. Pessimistic interpretations of these trends suggest that it is absence of suitable jobs rather than women’s withdrawal from the labour force that accounts for declining female work participation. A third explanation focuses on increasing measurement errors in work participation data from the National Sample Surveys. This paper examines these diverse explanations using data from National Sample Surveys and India Human Development Surveys for 2004–2005 and 2011–2012 and finds that: (1) Decline in rural women’s work participation recorded by National Sample Surveys may be overstated; (2) supply factors explain a relatively small proportion of the decline in women’s work participation rates; (3) public policies such as improvement and transportation facilities and MGNREGS that enhance work opportunities for women are associated with increased participation by women in the work force.
Located in MPRC People / Sonalde Desai, Ph.D. / Sonalde Desai Publications
Desai editorial details decline in Indian women's employment
Flags a squandered 'gender dividend'
Located in News
Sonalde Desai and Reeve Vanneman
Located in Resources / Research Tools Resource / Datasets and Data Development Projects
'Silence is louder than statistics'
Op-Ed details limitations of sexual violence research in India
Located in News
The Women's Empowerment: Data for Gender Equality (WEDGE) project underway
The WEDGE advisory board meeting discussed generating cross-culturally comparable data
Located in News
Desai article links caste to social outcomes in India
Cited in WSJ IndiaRealTime blog
Located in News
Sonalde Desai: Politics and India's New Young
Today's Indian youth are educated, conservative, and hungry for prosperity
Located in News