Title: Dropping Out, Being Pushed out or Can't Get In? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women
Discussant: Marianne Bertrand

We conducted the 15th Consumer Pyramids Research Seminar on 28 Oct 2021 at 06.30 PM IST.

About the Event

Prof Ashwini Deshpande and Jitendra Singh from Ashoka University presented results from their research on female labour force participation in India using the CPHS data to an enthusiastic audience of over 200 participants on the 28th of October, 2021. The presentation lasted for nearly an hour. Their work throws fresh light on the behaviour of females in the labour markets in India.

The majority of past studies have focused on supply side explanations for declining female labour force participation (FLFP) in India. Going beyond the predominant explanations of gender norms and social restrictions faced by women, the authors highlighted the role of demand side factors, and examined the extent to which societal norms explained declining FLFP rates.

Women exhibited multiple movements in and out of the labour force, and the majority of women experienced more than 1 transition. The authors posited demand side explanations such as inaccessible or inadequate jobs for women as the reason for this phenomenon. Societal constraints, which are typically taken as explanatory factors, were constant during this period.

Prof Marianne Bertrand, serving as the discussant for the paper emphasized the importance of gender norms. With respect to the authors’ explanations for the entry-exit movements, Prof Bertrand proposed alternative specifications to draw out further insights, and recommended additional questions on the motherhood penalty and India’s maternity policy for the authors to explore.

The webinar ended with an engaging discussion between Deshpande and Bertrand and then also between Deshpande and the audience.

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