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Caste, Awareness and Inequality in Access to Maternal and Child Health Programs: Evidence From India


  • Debayan Pakrashi

    (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)

  • Surya Nath Maiti

    (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)

  • Sarani Saha

    (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)


Utilization rates for government funded maternal and child health facilities are significantly lower among the disadvantaged caste groups in India compared to that of the general caste individuals, particularly when there is lack of awareness about the existing facilities among the targeted beneficiaries. We use propensity score matching method on detailed data from the fourth and current round of the District Level Household Survey to provide robust evidence that not only does awareness improve utilization of essential healthcare facilities but raising awareness can also bridge to a large extent the gap in utilization rates that exists between the advantaged and disadvantaged caste groups. We also find that the Scheduled tribe population which lag significantly behind the general castes as well as the other disadvantaged caste groups such as Scheduled castes and Other backward classes in terms of utilization of these health facilities stand to gain more from awareness.

Suggested Citation

  • Debayan Pakrashi & Surya Nath Maiti & Sarani Saha, 2022. "Caste, Awareness and Inequality in Access to Maternal and Child Health Programs: Evidence From India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 1301-1321, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:163:y:2022:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-022-02939-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-022-02939-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Inequality; Awareness; Utilization; Health facilities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs


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