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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Social networks, gender norms and women's labour supply: Experimental evidence using a job search platform

Sanchari Roy (King's College London), joint with Farzana Afridi, Amrita Dhillon and Nikita Sangwan

Thursday 06 October 2022 13:00 - 14:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

Using a cluster randomized control trial, we study the role of women's social networks in improving female labour force participation. In the first treatment arm, a hyper-local digital job search platform service was offered to a randomly selected group of married couples (non-network treatment) in low-income neighbourhoods of Delhi, India. In the second treatment arm, the service was offered to married couples and the wife's social network (network treatment), to disentangle the network effect. Neither couples nor their networks were offered the service in the control group. Approximately one year after the intervention, we find no significant impact in wives' likelihood of working in the network treatment group relative to the control group. Instead, we find a significant improvement in their husbands' labour market outcomes, including likelihood of working, work hours and monthly earnings. In contrast, home-based self-employment increased among wives in the network treatment group. We argue that our findings can be explained by the gendered structure of social networks in our setting, that reinforces (conservative) social norms about women's (outside) work.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 10:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

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