The Role of Informal Labor Arrangements in Facilitating Formal Employment for Women

We study whether community agreements to share unpaid labor could promote women's employment. We partner with one of India's largest carpet producers, a firm that employs women as weavers. The firm faces low attendance and retention of female weavers, and data suggest unpaid household labor may be why. One way an employed woman could ease the burden of unpaid labor would be to ask a neighbor's help with the labor, paying the neighbor a portion of her earnings in exchange. This sort of agreement could allow the woman to attend work regularly and may benefit both parties, but evidence suggests such agreements are not common. In this pilot project, we will identify barriers to setting up an agreement (e.g., knowledge, contracting, or learning constraints) and pilot interventions to address them.

RFP Cycle:
Summer 2021
  • Pilot project