Rajshri Jayaraman
Bisma Khan

We examine the effect of co-residence with fathers- and mothers-in-law on married women's employment in India. Instrumental variable fixed effects estimates using two different household panel datasets indicate that co-residence with a father-in-law reduces married women's employment by 11-13%, while co-residence with a mother-in-law has no effect. Difference-in-difference estimates show that married women's employment increases following the death of a co-residing father-in-law, but not mother-in-law. We investigate three classes of explanations for this: income effects, increased domestic responsibilities, and social norms. Our evidence is consistent with gender- and generational norms intersecting to constrain married women’s employment when parents-in-law co-reside.

Publication Type
Working Paper
File Description
First version, January 17, 2023
JEL Codes
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
female employment
family structure
Labor Supply