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Female business ownership and informal sector persistence, Volume 1
 
Author:Ghani, Ejaz; Kerr, William R.; O'Connell, Stephen D.; Country:India;
Date Stored:2013/09/19Document Date:2013/09/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Banks & Banking Reform; Housing & Human Habitats; Gender and Health; Population Policies; E-Business
Language:EnglishRegion:South Asia
Report Number:WPS6612Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 6612
Volume No:1  

Summary: The informal sector in India has been exceptionally persistent over the past two decades. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. This paper shows that a substantial share of the persistence in India's unorganized manufacturing sector is due to the rapid increase in female-owned businesses. Had women's participation remained in the proportion to male-owned businesses that was evident in 1994, the unorganized manufacturing sector would have declined in share rather than increased. Most of these new female-owned businesses are opened in the household and at a small scale, about a third of the size of a typical male-owned business in the informal sector. Yet, it appears that these businesses offer economic opportunities not otherwise present and a transition for some women from unpaid domestic work.

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