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Do Economic Reforms InfluenceHome-Based Work? Evidence from India


  • Uma Rani
  • Jeemol Unni


This paper analyzes the factors that influence the conditions under which a woman in India participates as a home-based worker using secondary level data at the micro level. At the macro level, the paper analyzes whether trade and industrial liberalization in India led to an increase in subcontracted work, of the home-based variety. The results show a historically high share of women in home-based work, which implies that female participation in such work was more likely to be determined by their cultural milieu than by the recent liberalization process. Further, while the micro model of social determinants appears to fit the female home-based work equation, the macro model is found to be insignificant. The lower but increasing share of male home-based work and the statistical significance of the macro model as a determinant of such work lead us to conclude that the economic reforms in India had a statistically significant impact on this form of production organization among men.

Suggested Citation

  • Uma Rani & Jeemol Unni, 2009. "Do Economic Reforms InfluenceHome-Based Work? Evidence from India," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 191-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:3:p:191-225
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700902835586

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. L. Alan Winters, 2000. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty," PRUS Working Papers 07, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
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    Cited by:

    1. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianna Claudia Giannelli & Francesco Pastore, 2010. "Vulnerability and discrimination among women, children and ethnic minorities," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 101-108, May.
    2. Domínguez V., Lilia & Brown, Flor, 2013. "Gender differences in workplace choices under crisis conditions," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.

    More about this item


    Data-gathering techniques; economic reform; flexible labor; gender inequality; home-based workers; labor process; JEL Codes: J4; J7; J8;

    JEL classification:

    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards


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