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Seasonal Migration and Feminization of Farm Management: Evidence from India

S Chandrasekhar, Soham Sahoo () and Hema Swaminathan

Feminist Economics, 2022, vol. 28, issue 1, 86-113

Abstract: Using gender-disaggregated data on land operations from India, this study demonstrates a relationship between seasonal or short-term migration for work and feminization of farm management. Using a nationally representative dataset covering 35,604 rural Indian households in 2013, the study identifies whether women are taking on the role of farm managers in households with short-term migrants. Results show that women are less likely than men to be decision makers on farms. This dynamic changes when there is short-term migration in the household, with a greater probability of women being decision makers on farms. These results are robust to concerns over omitted variables, endogeneity, and sample selection issues. The study highlights the importance of unpacking the feminization process to better understand the role of women as farm managers and the need for supporting this transition to ensure that women farmers realize their full potential.HIGHLIGHTS Short-term migration (STM) is integral to household livelihood strategy in rural India.Feminization of agricultural labor is distinct from the feminization of farm management.In households with STM, women are more likely to be engaged with farm decisions.Effect of STM is stronger for spouse of household head or unmarried daughters.Effect of STM is weaker when there are more adult men in the household.Individual-level data for time use, agricultural decisions, and migration are important.

Date: 2022
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Working Paper: Seasonal Migration and Feminization of Farm Management: Evidence from India (2017) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2021.1976808

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