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Female business ownership and informal sector persistence

Author

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

Abstract

The informal sector in India has been exceptionally persistent over the past two decades. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. This paper shows that a substantial share of the persistence in India's unorganized manufacturing sector is due to the rapid increase in female-owned businesses. Had women's participation remained in the proportion to male-owned businesses that was evident in 1994, the unorganized manufacturing sector would have declined in share rather than increased. Most of these new female-owned businesses are opened in the household and at a small scale, about a third of the size of a typical male-owned business in the informal sector. Yet, it appears that these businesses offer economic opportunities not otherwise present and a transition for some women from unpaid domestic work.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Female business ownership and informal sector persistence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6612, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2014. "Political reservations and women's entrepreneurship in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 138-153.
    2. Welter, Friederike & Brush, Candida & De Bruin, Anne, 2014. "The gendering of entrepreneurship context," Working Papers 01/14, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.

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    Keywords

    E-Business; Banks&Banking Reform; Population Policies; Housing&Human Habitats; Gender and Health;
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