Article | Journal of Development Economics | May 2014

Political Reservations and Women's Entrepreneurship in India

by Ejaz Ghani, William R. Kerr and Stephen D. O'Connell


We quantify the link between the timing of state-level implementations of political reservations for women in India with the role of women in India's manufacturing sector. While overall employment of women in manufacturing does not increase after the reforms, we find significant evidence that more women-owned establishments were created in the unorganized/informal sector. These new establishments were concentrated in industries where women entrepreneurs have been traditionally active and the entry was mainly found among household-based establishments. We measure and discuss the extent to which this heightened entrepreneurship is due to channels like greater finance access or heightened inspiration for women entrepreneurs.

Keywords: women; female; gender; entrepreneurship; political reservations; Development; informal sector; india; South Asia; Entrepreneurship; Gender; Manufacturing Industry; India;


Ghani, Ejaz, William R. Kerr, and Stephen D. O'Connell. "Political Reservations and Women's Entrepreneurship in India." Journal of Development Economics 108 (May 2014): 138–153.