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Gender Discrimination and Growth: Theory and Evidence from India

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  • Berta Esteve-Volart

Abstract

Gender inequality is an acute and persistent problem, especially in developing countries. This paper argues that gender discrimination is an inefficient practice. We model gender discrimination as the complete exclusion of females from the labor market or as the exclusion of females from managerial positions. The distortions in the allocation of talent between managerial and unskilled positions, and in human capital investment, are analyzed. It is found that both types of discrimination lower economic growth; and that the former also implies a reduction in per capita GDP, while the latter distorts the allocation of talent. Both types of discrimination imply lower female-to-male schooling ratios. We discuss the sustainability of social norms or stigma that can generate discrimination in the form described in this paper. We present evidence based on panel-data regressions across Indian states over 1961-1991 that is consistent with the model¿s predictions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 42.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:42

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: Growth; gender discrimination; labor market; allocation of talent; India.;

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  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  8. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
  9. William C. Horrace & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2001. "Inter-industry wage differentials and the gender wage gap: An identification problem," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 611-618, April.
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  15. Forsythe, Nancy & Korzeniewicz, Roberto Patricio & Durrant, Valerie, 2000. "Gender Inequalities and Economic Growth: A Longitudinal Evaluation," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(3), pages 573-617, April.
  16. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 1999. "Analyzing the gender pay gap," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 625-646.
  17. Malathy Duraisamy & P. Duraisamy, 1999. "Gender Bias in the Scientific and Technical Labour Market: A Comparative Study of Tamil Nadu and Kerala," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 149-169, July.
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