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Indian women, health, and productivity


  • Chatterjee, Meera


The relationship between women's health and their (physical and economic) productivity is complex and multi-dimensional. It is characterized by"flows"in both directions and a host of intervening factors. Two simple statements summarize the major directional flows: (a) women's health affects their productivity; and (b) productivity affects women's health. In the latter case, women's own productivity, that of their households, and even that of larger units such as the local, regional or national economy may be implicated. Women's health is intricately linked with family health, and their productivity with family productivity and related characteristics. This paper documents the nature of these relationships, using available data on Indian women which relate to a variety of health indices, and construing"productivity"in the broadest possible way, including labor force participation, work output, income and so on. The overall purpose is to discuss women's health with the context of the need to improve both women's productivity and welfare. Women's health status, its determinants and consequences, are explored, leading ultimately to the identification of interventions required to improve it and thereby to improve women's productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Chatterjee, Meera, 1990. "Indian women, health, and productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 442, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:442

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    Cited by:

    1. Oster, Emily, 2009. "Does increased access increase equality? Gender and child health investments in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 62-76, May.


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