A Pluralist Account of Labour Participation in India
Labour force participation in India is found to respond to a plurality of causal mechanisms. Employment and unpaid labour are both measured using the 1999/2000 Indian National Sample Survey. Men`s labour-force participation stood at 85% and women`s at 35%. The overall rate of labour force participation among women had fallen since 1989. Regression reveals a U curve of female employment by education levels. Many women at the bottom of the U are doing extra-domestic work, so a detailed measurement of both domestic work and other unpaid work is provided. Women in the Muslim cultural group do more extra-domestic work (and are more likely to be `inactive`) than women in other cultural groups. Economic poverty causes employment to be more likely. We use retroduction to interpret the regressions of labour force participation. We provide a number of reasons which could explain both the work patterns and the housewifisation pattern.
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