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Norms that matter: Exploring the distribution of women's work between income generation, expenditure-saving, and unpaid domestic responsibilities in India

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  • Ashwini Deshpande
  • Naila Kabeer

Abstract

Based on primary data from India, this paper analyses the reasons underlying women's low labour force participation. In developing countries, women engaged in unpaid economic work in family enterprises are often not counted as workers. Women are involved in expenditure-saving activities, i.e. productive work within the family, over and above domestic chores and care work. We document the fuzziness of the boundary between domestic and unpaid (and therefore invisible) productive work which leads to mismeasurement of women's work.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashwini Deshpande & Naila Kabeer, 2021. "Norms that matter: Exploring the distribution of women's work between income generation, expenditure-saving, and unpaid domestic responsibilities in India," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2021-130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sarkar, Sudipa & Sahoo, Soham & Klasen, Stephan, 2019. "Employment transitions of women in India: A panel analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 291-309.
    2. Neff, Daniel & Sen, Kunal & Kling, Veronika, 2012. "The Puzzling Decline in Rural Women's Labor Force Participation in India: A Reexamination," GIGA Working Papers 196, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    3. Amaresh Dubey & Wendy Olsen & Kunal Sen, 2017. "The Decline in the Labour Force Participation of Rural Women in India: Taking a Long-Run View," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 60(4), pages 589-612, December.
    4. Wendy Olsen & University of Manchester & Smita Mehta & Cambridge University, 2006. "A Pluralist Account of Labour Participation in India," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-042, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Chatterjee,Urmila & Murgai,Rinku & Rama,Martin G., 2015. "Job opportunities along the rural-urban gradation and female labor force participation in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7412, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashwini Deshpande & Jitendra Singh, 2021. "Dropping Out, Being Pushed out or Can't Get In? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women," Working Papers 65, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female labour force participation; India; Social norms; Unpaid labour;
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