MGNREGA and the Intra-Household Decision-Making: A Gender Perspective

Omkar Joshi, National Council of Applied Economic Research
Reeve Vanneman, University of Maryland

In a developing country context, where gender inequality is well entrenched in the society, the question of intra-household decision-making assumes critical importance. In such a society, women do not enjoy the same influence as men which is also reflected in several important decisions at the household level, such as, whether to work or not, what to purchase, how many children to have etc. The unequal distribution of resources, especially economic resources, is crucially linked to this problem of decision-making. However, whether increasing access to resources results in changes in women’s position within the household remains an empirical question. In this paper, using the unique India Human Development (IHDS) panel dataset, we employ ordinal logit model to look at exogenous changes in the labour market to see if expansion of economic opportunities in India through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) , changes gender relations in the household.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households