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Levels of Development and Female Labour Participation Rates in Rural India

Motkuri, Venkatanarayana (2016): Levels of Development and Female Labour Participation Rates in Rural India.

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This paper examines factors associated with the variation in female labour force participation rates across NSS regions in rural India. Our results based on quadratic form of equation for regression analysis show that the relationship between income and females’ labour force participation rate is significant and the fitted curvature is inverted U-shaped one. Also, FLFPR is negatively associated with female wage rate, percentage of cultivator households, percentage of educated (Primary and above) and percentage of child population below 15 years of age; positively associated with sex ratio and percentage of SC/ST population in the region.

Although our results show the significance of the level of income / development in variation in females labour force participation rates across regions, the possible substitution effect of mechanization in the development process cannot be ignored. The negative relationship with female wage rate which is prevailed in developed regions could be due to high opportunity cost with respect to women’s labour force participation in the developed region given the cultural factor of low value for women in general and those engaged in manual work resulting higher social cost for a household.

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