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Can political empowerment help economic empowerment ? women leaders and female labor force participation in India

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Author Info

  • Ghani, Ejaz
  • Mani, Anandi
  • O'Connell, Stephen D.

Abstract

This study examines whether political empowerment of women affects their economic participation. In the context of mandated political representation reform for women in India, the study finds that the length of exposure to women politicians affects overall female labor force participation. These effects seem to arise through direct and indirect channels: political representation of women directly affects hours of work assigned to women under the recent national public works program, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. In addition, the level of access to public goods, as influenced by exposure to women leaders over time, increases the likelihood of women being engaged in the labor force. The findings suggest that women's participation in politics could be a useful policy tool to increase both the supply of and the demand for labor market opportunities for women, potentially helping to stem India's declining female labor force participation rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6675.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6675

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Related research

Keywords: Population Policies; Gender and Development; Labor Markets; Gender and Law; Gender and Health;

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References

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  1. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H. & Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "A theory of employment guarantees: Contestability, credibility and distributional concerns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 482-497, April.
  2. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2011. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/280, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Mani, Anandi & Iyer, Lakshmi & Mishra, Prachi & Topalova, Petia, 2011. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 63, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Ejaz Ghani & William R. Kerr & Stephen D. O'Connell, 2011. "Local Industrial Structures and Female Entrepreneurship in India," NBER Working Papers 17596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Clément Imbert & John Papp, 2012. "Equilibrium Distributional Impacts of Government. Employment Programs: Evidence from India's Employment Guarantee," PSE Working Papers halshs-00680451, HAL.
  6. Ghani, Ejaz & Kanbur, Ravi & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Urbanization and agglomeration benefits : gender differentiated impacts on enterprise creation in India's informal sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6553, The World Bank.
  7. Ejaz Ghani & William R. Kerr & Stephen D. O'Connell, 2014. "Political Reservations and Women’s Entrepreneurship in India," NBER Working Papers 19868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
  9. 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.
  10. Afridi, Farzana & Iversen, Vegard & Sharan, M.R., 2013. "Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & Chaudhuri, Shubham, 1993. "Does Maharashtra's Employment Guarantee Scheme Guarantee Employment? Effects of the 1988 Wage Increase," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 251-75, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2014. "Political reservations and women's entrepreneurship in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 138-153.

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