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Gender Discrimination and the Biased Indian Labour Market: Evidence from the National Sample Survey

Gupta, Pallavi and Kothe, Satyanarayan (2021): Gender Discrimination and the Biased Indian Labour Market: Evidence from the National Sample Survey.

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Gender gaps in wages are a reflection of inequality and discrimination. This exists across region, sector, type of work and other divisions. Discrimination, is a presence of inequalities between male and female workers with similar skills and in similar occupations. Therefore only understanding wage inequality may be looking at the problem partially. Using the Indian National Sample Survey, the paper examines the facets of gender-based wage inequality and discrimination in regular and casual workers. First, Theil index is calculated to interpret within and between groups inequalities. Then, a Three-fold Oaxaca decomposition method is utilised to divide the wage gaps between explained, unexplained and interaction components. Results show that even though the returns on education are higher for women than men at each level of education, females continue to earn less. Wage gaps largely attributed to unexplained components and more prominent in occupational divisions. Discrimination is greater in regular employment as compared to casual employment; higher in urban as compared to rural areas and gets worse at lower level of occupations. It is also observed that women workers are discriminated against on the basis of age; and gender inequalities are worse than social inequalities.

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