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What explains big gender disparities in India ? local industrial structures and female entrepreneurship

Author

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  • Ghani, Ejaz
  • Kerr, William R.
  • O'Connell, Stephen D.

Abstract

Despite rapid economic growth, gender disparities in women's economic participation have remained deep and persistent in India. What explains these huge gender disparities? Is it poor infrastructure, limited education, and gender composition of the labor force and industries? Or is it deficiencies in social and business networks and a low share of incumbent female entrepreneurs?This paper analyzes the spatial determinants of female entrepreneurship in India in the manufacturing and services sectors. Good infrastructure and education predict higher female entry shares. There are strong agglomeration economies in both manufacturing and services, where higher female ownership among incumbent businesses within a district-industry predicts a greater share of subsequent entrepreneurs will be female. Moreover, higher female ownership of local businesses in related industries (similar labor needs, input-output markets) predicts greater relative female entry rates. Gender networks thus clearly matter for women's economic participation. However, there is a need to develop a better understanding of how gender networks influence aggregate efficiency. There is no doubt that gender empowerment can be the escalator to realizing human potential and for creating a robust platform for growth and job creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2012. "What explains big gender disparities in India ? local industrial structures and female entrepreneurship," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6228, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Akcigit, Ufuk & Cagé, Julia & Kerr, William R., 2016. "Taxation, corruption, and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 24-51.
    2. Klaus Desmet & Ejaz Ghani & Stephen O'Connell & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2015. "The Spatial Development Of India," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 10-30, January.
    3. Klaus Desmet & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2014. "Spatial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1211-1243, April.
    4. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
    5. Bruhn, Miriam, 2009. "Female-owned firms in Latin America : characteristics, performance, and obstacles to growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5122, The World Bank.
    6. Erica Field & Seema Jayachandran & Rohini Pande, 2010. "Do Traditional Institutions Constrain Female Entrepreneurship? A Field Experiment on Business Training in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 125-129, May.
    7. Uwe Deichmann & Somik V. Lall & Stephen J. Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2008. "Industrial Location in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 219-246, May.
    8. Mercedes Delgado & Michael E. Porter & Scott Stern, 2010. "Clusters and entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 495-518, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William & O'Connell, Stephen, 2013. "Promoting Women’s Economic Participation in India," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 107, pages 1-6, February.

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    Keywords

    Banks&Banking Reform; Housing&Human Habitats; Water and Industry; E-Business; Gender and Law;

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