Does increased access increase equality? Gender and child health investments in India
Increases in access to social services are often thought to decrease inequality in the level of these services between advantaged and disadvantaged groups. This is an issue in the developing world, where policy-makers often argue that increasing the level of health care, for example, will decrease gender inequality. However, increases in access to services often have empirically ambiguous effects on inequality, increasing it in some cases and decreasing it in others. This paper argues that this is not surprising, and simple economic theory suggests that we should expect a non-monotonic relationship between access and inequality. At low levels of access to investments, there is no investment for either the advantaged or disadvantaged group, producing equality. Increases in access increase investment for the advantaged group first, generating inequality. Further increases in access increase investment in the disadvantaged group, decreasing inequality. I test the predictions of this theory using data on the availability of health camps (or distance to health centers) and gender differences in vaccinations in India. I find strong support for a non-monotonic relationship between access and gender equality.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005.
"Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?,"
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
- Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bhattacharya, Jay & Lakdawalla, Darius, 2006. "Does Medicare benefit the poor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 277-292, January.
- Rohini Pande, 2003. "Selective gender differences in childhood nutrition and immunization in rural India: The role of siblings," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 395-418, August.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984.
"Migration Selectivity and the Effects of Public Programs,"
8442, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1988. "Migration selectivity and the effects of public programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 265-289, December.
- Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "The Effect of School Accountability Systems on the Level and Distribution of Student Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 406-415, 04/05.
- Borooah, Vani K., 2004.
"Gender bias among children in India in their diet and immunisation against disease,"
Social Science & Medicine,
Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1719-1731, May.
- Borooah, Vani, 2004. "Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease," MPRA Paper 19590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Michael Greenstone & Kenneth Y. Chay, 2000. "The Convergence in Black-White Infant Mortality Rates during the 1960's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 326-332, May.
- Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1997.
"The Incidence of Medicare,"
NBER Working Papers
6013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990.
"Are better off households more unequal or less unequal ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
373, The World Bank.
- Kanbur, Ravi & Haddad, Lawrence, 1994. "Are Better Off Households More Unequal or Less Unequal?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 445-58, July.
- Bhargava, Alok, 2003. "Family planning, gender differences and infant mortality: evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 225-240, January.
- Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Determinants of Gender Equity in India: Examining Dyson and Moore's Thesis with New Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 239-268.
- Vinod Mishra & T. K. Roy & Robert D. Retherford, 2004. "Sex Differentials in Childhood Feeding, Health Care, and Nutritional Status in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 269-295.
- Chatterjee, Meera, 1990. "Indian women, health, and productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 442, The World Bank.
- Paula Griffiths & Zoë Matthews & Andrew Hinde, 2000. "Understanding the sex ratio in India: A simulation approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(4), pages 477-488, November.
- Pande, Rohini P. & Yazbeck, Abdo S., 2003. "What's in a country average? Wealth, gender, and regional inequalities in immunization in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(11), pages 2075-2088, December.
- Derek Neal & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter Mayer, 1999. "India's Falling Sex Ratios," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 323-343.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:89:y:2009:i:1:p:62-76. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.