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When Daughters Migrate and Mothers Do Not: Girl Children’s Paid Outside Work in West Bengal,India


  • Deepita Chakravarty

    () (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

  • Ishita Chakravarty

    () (Vidya Sagar College, Calcutta University)


As many of the discriminatory practices against girl children and women primarily take place within the household, the family seems to have a crucial role in determining such outcomes. However, it needs to be remembered that gender discrimination takes different forms in different socio-economic and cultural contexts. Decisions taken by the household are naturally informed by such broader considerations. This paper tries to understand the possible role of the family in determining the country’s highest work-participation rate of the urban girl children in West Bengal, India. This seems to be a paradox as West Bengal is known for its historical bias against adult women’s paid outside work. The paper also explores the possible changes in gender relations within the household with the changes in the relative decision making powers of the different adult members of the family. Our argument is based on both secondary and primary data.

Suggested Citation

  • Deepita Chakravarty & Ishita Chakravarty, 2012. "When Daughters Migrate and Mothers Do Not: Girl Children’s Paid Outside Work in West Bengal,India," Working Papers 175, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deborah Levison & Anna Langer, 2010. "Counting Child Domestic Servants in Latin America," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 125-149.
    2. Folbre, Nancy, 1986. "Hearts and spades: Paradigms of household economics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 245-255, February.
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    More about this item


    Girl child domestics; internal migration; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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