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What explains big gender disparities in India ? local industrial structures and female entrepreneurship

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  • Ghani, Ejaz
  • Kerr, William R.
  • O'Connell, Stephen D.

Abstract

Despite rapid economic growth, gender disparities in women's economic participation have remained deep and persistent in India. What explains these huge gender disparities? Is it poor infrastructure, limited education, and gender composition of the labor force and industries? Or is it deficiencies in social and business networks and a low share of incumbent female entrepreneurs?This paper analyzes the spatial determinants of female entrepreneurship in India in the manufacturing and services sectors. Good infrastructure and education predict higher female entry shares. There are strong agglomeration economies in both manufacturing and services, where higher female ownership among incumbent businesses within a district-industry predicts a greater share of subsequent entrepreneurs will be female. Moreover, higher female ownership of local businesses in related industries (similar labor needs, input-output markets) predicts greater relative female entry rates. Gender networks thus clearly matter for women's economic participation. However, there is a need to develop a better understanding of how gender networks influence aggregate efficiency. There is no doubt that gender empowerment can be the escalator to realizing human potential and for creating a robust platform for growth and job creation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6228.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6228

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Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Housing&Human Habitats; Water and Industry; E-Business; Gender and Law;

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References

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  1. Uwe Deichmann & Somik V. Lall & Stephen J. Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2008. "Industrial Location in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 219-246, May.
  2. Erica Field & Seema Jayachandran & Rohini Pande, 2010. "Do Traditional Institutions Constrain Female Entrepreneurship? A Field Experiment on Business Training in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 125-29, May.
  3. Fernandes, Ana M. & Sharma, Gunjan, 2012. "Together we stand ? agglomeration in Indian manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6062, The World Bank.
  4. Desmet, Klaus & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2009. "Spatial Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 7479, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bruhn, Miriam, 2009. "Female-owned firms in Latin America : characteristics, performance, and obstacles to growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5122, The World Bank.
  6. Desmet, Klaus & Ghani, Ejaz & O'Connell, Stephen D & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2013. "The Spatial Development of India," CEPR Discussion Papers 9433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Estrin, Saul & Mickiewicz, Tomasz, 2009. "Do Institutions Have a Greater Effect on Female Entrepreneurs?," IZA Discussion Papers 4577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Amin, Mohammad & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2008. "Human capital and the changing structure of the Indian economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4576, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William & O'Connell, Stephen, 2013. "Promoting Women’s Economic Participation in India," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 107, pages 1-6, February.

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