Based on primary data, the present study analyzes the gender income gap and its compositions throughout the income distribution of the handloom micro-entrepreneurs in Assam. The unconditional quantile decomposition reveals the existence of substantial gender income gaps along the income distribution. The differences in the productive characteristics explain much of the gap at the median and beyond. The endowment effects of education, financial literacy, risk attitude, SHGs membership, and technology adoption are found in favor of the male micro-entrepreneurs. The results suggest that the extent of risk aversion towards producing high-valued dress materials and poor management of entrepreneurial activities of the females have widened gender gap, particularly at the upper quantiles of the income distribution.
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Of the total female owned enterprises in India, about 48.02% are in textile and wearing apparel sector (Deshpande 2013).
Data for the stratification was used from Statistical Handbook of Assam, 2010 (Directorate of Economics and Statistics 2011).
An enterprise that does not exceed INR 2.5 million in terms of investment in plant and machinery is categorized as a micro-enterprise in Indian formal sector whereas the informal entrepreneurship covers all the enterprises which are not registered and are within the definitions for the formal sector (MoMSME 2017). As the present study concerns with informal sector and a low capital intensive industry, the operational definition of handloom micro-enterprise is derived based on a few earlier studies (Honig 1998; Hazarika et al. 2016).
For a review of these methods, please see Fortin et al. (2011).
Often technology adoption appears to be endogenous variable in income model. Following the literature, the endogeneity of the access to technology was examined considering ‘technological awareness’ and ‘access to extension services’ as instruments for weaving machinery adoption. However, no evidence of endogeneity of technology adoption is observed for the present sample (results are not presented, available upon request).
ARTFED and BRAWFED are the two apex cooperative societies looking after the handloom cooperative activities in the State which are currently facing some structural challenges including shortage of working capital.
The two-sample Kolmogorov–Smirnov test compares the observed cumulative distribution function for a variable with a specified theoretical distribution, which may be normal, uniform, Poisson, or exponential. The Kolmogorov–Smirnov Z-statistic is computed from the largest difference (in absolute value) between the empirical and theoretical cumulative distribution functions. It gives the goodness-of-fit test about the observations for a specified distribution.
It should be noted that though the recommendations of Gardeazable and Ugidos (2004) are followed in the present study to tackle the omitted category problem for categorical variables, the discriminatory coefficients of the determinants other than the continuous are somewhat arbitrary (Jann 2008; Magnani and Zhu 2012).
In order to overcome the problem of omitted category in detailed decomposition for categorical variables, the present study follows the procedure presented in Jann (2008).
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Hazarika, B. Gender income gap in rural informal micro-enterprises: an unconditional quantile decomposition approach in the handloom industry. Eurasian Bus Rev 10, 441–473 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40821-019-00139-4
- Income gap
- Unconditional quantile regression