What Constrains Young Indian Women’s Labor Force Participation? Evidence from a Survey of Vocational Trainees

Pande, Rohini; Moore, Charity; Prillaman, Soledad; Singh, Vartika (2017)


Pande, Rohini, Charity Troyer Moore, Soledad Artiz Prillaman, and Vartika Singh. 2017. “What Constrains Young Indian Women’s Labor Force Participation? Evidence From A Survey Of Vocational Trainees”.
How do young men and women fare under India’s vocational (skills) training and job placement programs, and what constrains their subsequent job take-up and retention? Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) partnered with a large, government-funded skills training and job placement program to survey 2,610 former vocational trainees in 2016. We find a large male-favored gender gap in job placement: at 85%, young men are 13% points more likely than young women to receive a job offer. Young men are also 26% points more likely to accept jobs (with rates at 70% for males and 56% for females). We also identify high drop-out rates after vocational training: 74% of respondents who accepted a job after training had left it by the time of the survey (on average, 9 months after completing training), and only 20% of this group that had left their jobs were employed. Furthermore, there are stark gender differences in the reasons trained youth refuse jobs and subsequently drop out of the labor force. For young women, family concerns are the primary reason , while compensation and personal preferences are the primary reasons young men cite for refusing and leaving jobs after vocational training. However, for both young men and women, access to post-migration support is correlated with longer post-placement job tenure.