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The Glass Ceiling for Women: An Empirical Investigation

Suchitra S Kumar


The human capital approach to the gender disparity is not the only approach available. This paper compares and contrasts the two diverse approaches to understand the issues related to human capital formation in women. These approaches are the patriarchal approach and the human capital approach. The patriarchy approach highlights the role of social structures and power relationships in society, while the human capital approach highlights the importance of differential human capital endowments in explaining differences in labour market earnings. The two approaches are not mutually opposed, though they emphasize different channels that produce differences in labour market earnings.  For example, lower earnings because of lower human capital investment in women as a result of social attitudes are entirely compatible with the human capital approach. How does one then distinguish the two approaches in an empirical study? This paper makes an attempt to do so. In this paper we attempt to analyse the labour market discrimination by controlling for variables such as gender, age, experience, number of children, and education in the regressions.


gender discrimination, labour, Indian economy

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Print Version ISSN 0975-3931

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