Objective: I investigate the impact of the 1975-76 forced sterilization campaign carried out by the Indira Gandhi government in India on women’s long-run labor market outcomes.
Methods: I exploit heterogeneity in the implementation of coercive sterilization at the district level using difference-in-differences (DiD) and run additional robustness and heterogeneity checks.
Results: Using large data samples from India and accounting for endogeneity concerns, I find that exposure to the forced sterilization campaign at the district level reduces long-term labor market participation by 4.5% and 1.5% in agricultural and sales occupations and increases unemployment by 4.7% and I elucidate mechanisms.
Discussion: The proposed mechanism of this is the disutility derived from having a working wife. This result is contrary to existing literature that indicates that women’s
access to contraception increases their labor market participation. My results suggest that giving women access to contraception is insufficient to improve their market outcomes.
Speaker: Niranjana Prasad, Université Catholique de Louvain
Discussant: Saurabh Singhal, Lancaster University
Chair: Bruce Hollingsworth, Lancaster University