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Child Schooling and Work Decisions in India: The Role of Household and Regional Gender Equity

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  • Uma Sarada Kambhampati

Abstract

This paper tests three hypotheses about how mothers' autonomy in India affects their children's participation in school and the labor market. To do so it extends the concept of mothers' autonomy beyond the household to include the constraints imposed by the extent of gender equity in the regions in which these women live. This study began with the expectation that increased autonomy for Indian mothers living in heterosexual households would increase child schooling and decrease child work. However, the results are mixed, indicating that mother's autonomy can be reinforced or constrained by the environment. The paper concludes that mothers and fathers in India make different decisions for girls vis-a-vis boys and that the variables reflecting mothers' autonomy vary in their impact, so that mothers' level of education relative to fathers' is not often statistically significant, while mothers' increased contributions to household expenditure decrease the probability of schooling and girls' work.

Suggested Citation

  • Uma Sarada Kambhampati, 2009. "Child Schooling and Work Decisions in India: The Role of Household and Regional Gender Equity," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 77-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:4:p:77-112
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700903153997
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kambhampati, Uma S. & Rajan, Raji, 2006. "Economic growth: A panacea for child labor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 426-445, March.
    2. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Maluccio, John A., 2000. "Intrahousehold allocation and gender relations," FCND discussion papers 84, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Bargaining over Sons and Daughters: Child Labor, School Attendance and Intra-Household Gender Bias in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0213, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2006. "Endogenous Intra-household Balance of Power and its Impact on Expenditure Patterns: Evidence from India," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 435-460, August.
    5. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Gender and Say: a Model of Household Behaviour with Endogenously Determined Balance of Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 558-580, April.
    6. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-349, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francavilla, Francesca & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Grilli, Leonardo, 2013. "Mothers’ Employment and their Children’s Schooling: A Joint Multilevel Analysis for India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 183-195.
    2. Fernandez, Antonia & Della Giusta, Marina & Kambhampati, Uma S., 2015. "The Intrinsic Value of Agency: The Case of Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 92-107.
    3. repec:lpe:efijnl:201614 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:182-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ramzi Mabsout, 2011. "Capability and Health Functioning in Ethiopian Households," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 101(3), pages 359-389, May.
    6. Kumar, Rajnish & Mitra, Arup & Murayama, Mayumi, 2012. "Toiling children in India : the gender dimension," IDE Discussion Papers 352, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

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