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Do Economic Reforms InfluenceHome-Based Work? Evidence from India

Uma Rani and Jeemol Unni

Feminist Economics, 2009, vol. 15, issue 3, 191-225

Abstract: This paper analyzes the factors that influence the conditions under which a woman in India participates as a home-based worker using secondary level data at the micro level. At the macro level, the paper analyzes whether trade and industrial liberalization in India led to an increase in subcontracted work, of the home-based variety. The results show a historically high share of women in home-based work, which implies that female participation in such work was more likely to be determined by their cultural milieu than by the recent liberalization process. Further, while the micro model of social determinants appears to fit the female home-based work equation, the macro model is found to be insignificant. The lower but increasing share of male home-based work and the statistical significance of the macro model as a determinant of such work lead us to conclude that the economic reforms in India had a statistically significant impact on this form of production organization among men.

Keywords: Data-gathering techniques; economic reform; flexible labor; gender inequality; home-based workers; labor process; JEL Codes: J4; J7; J8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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