Online Program

Female Work Participation in India: The Heterogeneous Effect of Fertility

Monday, November 2, 2015

Debasree Das Gupta, Department of Kinesiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
The entrance of women in the workplace has generated much interest in the relationship between female work participation and fertility. Increases in women’s participation in the workforce in historical and contemporary times have been attributed, among other things, to declining fertility rates. Evidence on significant contribution of rising female labor supply to economic growth as fertility declines is robust. Empirical evidence supports the theoretical “inverse relation” premise and reveals a negative association between fertility and female work participation. In India, declining levels of fertility have, however, not been accompanied by higher rates of female work participation. Considering its level of income, India, by far, has one of the lowest rates of female work participation in the world. The purpose of this analysis is, therefore, to examine the work-fertility relation across a cross-section of districts in India which remains under-researched with prior empirical studies predominantly conducted at the micro-level. The focus is on interpreting heterogeneity in the aggregate work-fertility relation after considering endogeneity between the two factors as well as systemic non-random geographic interdependencies that characterize social and health outcomes such as fertility and female work participation. Contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) is employed to instrument fertility in a spatial autoregressive model with autoregressive disturbances. Results indicate a higher degree of mother-worker role conflict in urban India and hold implications for health and economic planning in developing countries experiencing a persisting, and developed countries witnessing a reemergence of incompatibility between mothering and working.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the utility of applying a spatial analytic approach to inform health and economic policy and planning.

Keyword(s): Economic Analysis, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In my research I use spatial techniques to analyze georeferenced health data and have ten years of experience working with GIS and large datasets.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.