Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Push or Pull?
Drivers of female labour force participation rate in urban India during India’s economic boom


Stephan Klasen

University of Gottingen

Friday, 22nd  February 2013 at 3:00 PM

Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited


We examine drivers of female labor force participation in urban India between 1987 and 2009, asking to what degree India’s economic boom has drawn women into the labor force and whether social and economic barriers to female participation have fallen. Although participation rates in urban India have remained low throughout this period, we do find evidence that the effects of households’ socio-economic class have declined over time, especially among highly educated women. There is, however, a conditional U-shaped relationship between women’s own ducation and labor force participation, with a large drop in the positive effect of higher education. This may be a result of the expansion of higher education in India, associated with an increase in the scarcity of white-collar jobs and a decline in positive selection of women into higher education.


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