The Effect of Compulsory Primary Education on Mother's Labor Force Participation



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India’s female labor force participation rates have been steadily declining for the last decade. Low female labor force participation is often associated with a reduction in GDP per capita and economic growth. Thus, as part of a strategy for increasing economic growth, it is necessary to examine factors that could potentially increase female labor force participation. One of the aspects that could increase labor force participation is childcare. However, in low-income countries like India, childcare is often expensive and inaccessible. In my thesis, I examine if relaxing this constraint by providing free and compulsory education to children as substitute childcare will encourage higher female labor force participation. I find that the probability of a woman’s decision to enter the labor market increases by 1.7% − 1.8% in some states. However, my results remain statistically insignificant when I include all states in India in my estimation. Thus, other factors such as gender norms, safety for women in the workplace, and wage disparity should be explored to encourage higher female labor force participation in countries like India.



Economics, Event studies, Econometrics