It is often argued that women have an important role to play in fostering sustainable and inclusive development. Several empirical studies indeed find a correlation between intra-household bargaining power and spending on children's nutrition, health and education. The general perception of the impact of gender on agricultural productivity is far less favorable. As a result of constrained access to input markets, output markets, and land markets, female-headed households are usually found to be less productive in agriculture than male-headed households. This paper provides empirical evidence of the impact of female intra-household decision-making power on dairy productivity in India, based on evidence from a household-level dataset which was collected in 2008 in 50 villages spread over 5 districts in Andhra Pradesh, a state in the South of India. The results of our analysis suggest that equal, if not higher, productivity is achieved in households where a woman, rather than a man, is the primary decision-maker over production-related decisions. While caution is due in drawing overly strong conclusions, and more research is needed to corroborate these findings, our results provide a more nuanced view on the impact of gender on agricultural productivity than the one which is usually put forward in the literature.
agricultural productivity dairy sector gender female decision-making power