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The 'Nowhere' Children: Patriarchy and the Role of Girls in India's Rural Economy

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  • Uma S. Kambhampati

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

  • Raji Rajan

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

Abstract

The paper is motivated by an apparent paradox – boys seem to participate more both in the labour market and in school than girls. This pattern breaks down once we take the household work done by girls into account. In this paper, we find that there is symmetry between the factors that make women’s contribution to the household economy less ‘visible’ than men’s and the factors that reduce girl’s involvement in outside work. Both are related to the kind of sociocultural environment in which households operate in India. Analysing the School, Work and household chores options for girls, we find that the kinship system prevalent in different regions as well as amongst different religions and castes is a significant determinant of these choices. In addition, we find that increases in household income do not decrease the probability of girls doing household chores, reinforcing our conclusion that non-economic factors are important. Our results confirm, once again, that while daughter’s labour complements mother’s work within family enterprises, it substitutes for mothers in household chores when the mother works outside the home.

Suggested Citation

  • Uma S. Kambhampati & Raji Rajan, 2004. "The 'Nowhere' Children: Patriarchy and the Role of Girls in India's Rural Economy," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2004-21, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2004-21
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    Cited by:

    1. Ellen Webbink & Jeroen Smits & Eelke Jong, 2013. "Household and Context Determinants of Child Labor in 221 Districts of 18 Developing Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 819-836, January.
    2. Kambhampati, Uma S. & Rajan, Raji, 2006. "Economic growth: A panacea for child labor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 426-445, March.
    3. Mikołaj Szołtysek & Radoslaw Poniat & Sebastian Klüsener & Siegfried Gruber, 2017. "Family organisation and human capital inequalities in historic Europe: testing the association anew," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Kelly Jones, 2014. "Growing Up Together: Cohort Composition and Child Investment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 229-255, February.
    5. Krisztina Kis-Katos, 2012. "Gender differences in work-schooling decisions in rural North India," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 491-519, December.
    6. Webbink, Ellen & Smits, Jeroen & de Jong, Eelke, 2012. "Hidden Child Labor: Determinants of Housework and Family Business Work of Children in 16 Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 631-642.

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