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Working paper 747

Rajshri Jayaraman and Bisma Khan, "Does co-residence with parents-in-law reduce women's employment in India?", 2023-01-19
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Abstract: We examine the effect of co-residence with fathers- and mothers-in-law on married women’s employment in India. Instrumental variable fixed effects estimates using two different household panel datasets indicate that co-residence with a father-in-law reduces married women’s employment by 11-13%, while co-residence with a mother-in-law has no effect. Difference-in-difference estimates show that married women’s employment increases following the death of a co-residing father-in-law, but not mother-in-law. We investigate three classes of explanations for this: income effects, increased domestic responsibilities, and social norms. Our evidence is consistent with gender- and generational norms intersecting to constrain married women’s employment when parents-in-law co-reside.

Keywords: female employment, family structure, labour supply, parents-in-lawJ16, J22, J12, O12, Z13

JEL Classification: J16; J22; J12; O12; Z13