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The Covid-19 Lockdown in India: Gender and Caste Dimensions of the First Job Losses

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  • Ashwini Deshpande

Abstract

Based on national-level panel data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) database, this paper investigates the first effects of Covid-19 induced lockdown on employment. Examining the employment status of 37,000 in- dividuals before and after the lockdown, we find that individuals were 12.8 percentage points less likely to be employed post-lockdown. On a pre-lockdown base of 38.9 percent employment, this translates into a 33 precent reduction in the likelihood of being employed. The decline in employment is not gender and caste neutral. Men are more likely to be employed overall, and drop in male employment is greater in absolute terms. However, women who were employed in the pre-lockdown phase were 23.5 percentage points less likely to be employed in the post- lockdown phase, compared to men. Male heads of household were 11.3 percentage points more likely to be employed post-lockdown, compared to female heads of household. Caste differences are not as sharp as gender differences, but the we find that lockdown affected employment of the disadvantaged caste groups relatively more adversely than the higher ranked group of castes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashwini Deshpande, 2020. "The Covid-19 Lockdown in India: Gender and Caste Dimensions of the First Job Losses," Working Papers id:13085, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:13085
    Note: Institutional Papers
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