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The Gendered Crisis
Livelihoods and mental well-being in India during Covid-19
This session will have Sanchari Roy present her findings on the impact of the Covid19 crisis on gendered dimensions of employment and mental health among urban informal-sector workers in India, based on a recent research study in Delhi.
The study can be found here.
Sanchari Roy will be in conversation with Nalini Gulati about the study that found men’s employment had declined by 84 percentage points post-pandemic, while their monthly earnings fell by 89 per cent.
In contrast, women did not experience any significant impact on employment. The study also documents very high levels of pandemic-induced mental stress, with wives reporting greater stress than husbands.
This gendered pattern in mental stress is partly explained by men’s employment losses, which affected wives more than husbands. In contrast, staying employed during the pandemic is associated with worse mental health for both women and their (unemployed) husbands, possibly due to internalization of “male breadwinner” norms. Finally, the study finds that pre-existing social networks appear to increase mental stress for women compared to men, potentially due to “stress-contagion” effects.
Sanchari Roy is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Development Economics at King’s College London. Her primary areas of research include gender and development, education, mental health and public service delivery. Sanchari’s research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals like the Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, World Development etc. Her work has received press coverage in The New York Times, BBC, The Economist, NDTV, The Hindu, Deccan Herald etc. In addition, she has also published work related to issues pertaining to the Indian economy in the Economic and Political Weekly, as well as written for the popular press, including The Guardian, Outlook magazine, The Wire etc.
Sanchari completed her undergraduate degree in Economics from Presidency College, Calcutta, Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and PhD in Economics from London School of Economics. Prior to joining King’s College London, Sanchari taught at the University of Warwick and the University of Sussex in UK.
Read more about Sanchari’s work here and here.
Nalini Gulati is a Country Economist at the India Programme of the International Growth Centre (IGC), and Managing Editor of the economics and policy portal Ideas for India (I4I). Since 2018, she has also been associated with the IWWAGE (Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy) projects at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Delhi Centre.
Nalini works at the intersection of economics research and public policy, and has a keen interest in gender issues. Her views on women’s economic participation, job creation, and gender budgeting have been featured in leading media outlets such as Forbes, Hindustan Times, Mint, and Bloomberg.
Prior to joining the IGC, she was an Economist at Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA), where she worked on projects in their global health practice. She has also briefly worked as a Short Term Consultant for a nutrition project at the World Bank in New Delhi, India.
Her postgraduate research focused on health insurance in poor developing countries, involving an analysis of household survey data from India to examine the role of risk preference heterogeneity in the demand for health insurance. Nalini holds an M.Phil. in Economics from the University of Oxford and B.A. (Honours) in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.