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Remember When It Rained: The Elusiveness of Gender Discrimination in Indian School Enrollment

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  • Zimmermann, Laura

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Indian girls have significantly lower school enrollment rates than boys. Anecdotal evidence suggests that gender-differential treatment is the main explanation, but empirical support is often weak. I analyze school enrollment using rainfall shocks, a plausibly exogenous source of income variation. Rainfall shocks matter most for young children and monotonically decline with age. Girls' school enrollment is more vulnerable to rainfall shocks than that of boys for 6-10 year olds, but there are no gender differences for older children. I argue that these results need to be interpreted carefully since they are a combination of two underlying effects, but propose that one explanation are age-specific forms of gender discrimination.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6833.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6833

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Keywords: rainfall; gender discrimination; school enrollment; education; India;

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  1. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta, 2011. "Are Girls the Fairer Sex in India? Revisiting Intra-Household Allocation of Education Expenditure," IZA Discussion Papers 5706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2005. "Where Has All the Bias Gone? Detecting Gender Bias in the Intrahousehold Allocation of Educational Expenditure," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 409-51, January.
  3. Björkman, Martina, 2006. "Income Shocks and Gender Gaps in Education: Evidence from Uganda," Seminar Papers 744, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Sarah Baird & Jed Friedman & Norbert Schady, 2011. "Aggregate Income Shocks and Infant Mortality in the Developing World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 847-856, August.
  5. Elaina Rose, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing and Excess Female Mortality in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 41-49, February.
  6. Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1485-1538.
  7. Zimmermann, Laura, 2011. "Reconsidering Gender Bias in Intra-Household Allocation in India," IZA Discussion Papers 5687, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285, August.
  9. Hemanshu Kumar & Rohini Somanathan, 2009. "Mapping Indian Districts Across Census Years, 1971-2001," Working papers 176, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  10. Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Gender Bias, Credit Constraints and Time Allocation in Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 738-58, July.
  11. Monazza Aslam & Geeta Kingdon, 2005. "Gender and Household Education Expenditure in Pakistan," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-025, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2008. "Household Expenditure Patterns and Gender Bias: Evidence from Selected Indian States," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 133-157.
  13. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1998. "Testing Theories of Consumption Behavior Using Information on Aggregate Shocks: Income Seasonality and Rainfall in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14.
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