Status, Caste, and the Time Allocation of Women in Rural India
AbstractWe argue that women may be disinclined to participate in market work in the rural areas of India because of family status concerns in a culture that stigmatizes market work by married women. We set out a theoretical framework that offers predictions regarding the effects of caste-based status concerns on the time allocation of women. We then use the all-India National Sample Survey data for the year 2004-5 and the Time Use Survey for six states of India for the year 1998-99 to empirically test these hypotheses. After controlling for a host of correlates, we find that the ratio of women's market work to men's declines as we move up the caste hierarchy. This ratio falls as family wealth rises, and the decline is steeper for the higher castes. Finally, the effect on women's market work of higher education is weaker for the higher castes. These findings lend support to our theory and to the view that, through its emphasis on family status, caste plays a pivotal role in undermining the autonomy of women. Our article has implications for how culture impinges on the rate at which poverty in developing countries can be reduced.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.
Volume (Year): 61 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 311 - 333
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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/
Other versions of this item:
- Mukesh Eswaran & Bharat Ramaswami & Wilima Wadhwa, 2011. "Status, caste, and the time allocation of women in rural India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 11-12, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
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