Accepted paper:

Spill-over Effects of Formal Political Institutions and market interventions on Gender Equality: Non-Experimental Evidence from India


Jeemol Unni (Ahmedabad University)
Shyam Singh (Institute of Rural Management )
Vivek Pandey (Institute of Rural Management Ananad)

Paper short abstract:

Market intervention transfers resource to women but decision making is vested in men given social structures. Reservation in local government improves status of women in social structures. We address gender equality through market intervention in dairy and spillover effects of political reservation.

Paper long abstract:

This paper seeks to understand conditions under which access to market type development interventions produce significant impacts on women empowerment. Markets provide economic resources to women; however its ability to influence women's participation in household and village level decisions remains unclear. While market intervention such as dairy farming may formally transfer resources to women, decision making powers are vested with male members of the household due to the presence of ex-ante social structures and norms. This remains a source of gender inequality in India. Along with the distributive development policies that benefit women economically, political reservation in local government is one statutory effort to improve the condition of women in the existing social structure. We conjecture that market interventions can produce two types of empowerment impacts for women inside the rural households: (a) it produces direct impact by making women control economic resources, and (b) these interventions can produce amplified empowerment impacts by taking benefit of the spillover effects of women reservations in local government. We, therefore, try to test three hypotheses: 1) market access interventions have positive effects on women empowerment, 2) reservations for women in local government bodies have amplified effect of the intervention on women empowerment, and 3) spillover effect of the intervention through reservations on women empowerment is larger than the direct intervention effects. We use data collected from six Indian states on the impact of implementation of the National Dairy Plan, Phase I (NDP-I) to test these hypotheses.

panel I05
Inequality studies: developing a southern approach (Paper)