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Gender discrimination and growth: theory and evidence from India

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  • Berta Esteve-Volart
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    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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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6641/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6641.

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    Length: 68 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6641

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    Related research

    Keywords: growth; gender discrimination; labor market; allocation of talent; India;

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    References

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    1. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
    2. Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Seguino, Stephanie, 2000. "Gender Inequality and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1211-1230, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
    10. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
    11. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
    12. Berta Esteve-Volart, 2000. "Sex Discrimination and Growth," IMF Working Papers 00/84, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:
    1. Stephan Klasen & Francesca Lamanna, 2008. "The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education and Employment on Economic Growth in Developing Countries: Updates and Extensions," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 175, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    2. sivakumar, marimuthu, 2008. "Gender Discrimination and Women's Development in India," MPRA Paper 10950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Akyeampong, Emmanuel & Fofack, Hippolyte, 2012. "The contribution of African women to economic growth and development : historical perspectives and policy implications -- Part I : the pre-colonial and colonial periods," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6051, The World Bank.
    4. Petia Topalova, 2008. "India," IMF Working Papers 08/54, International Monetary Fund.

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