IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Gender Gap in Educational Attainment in India: How Much Can Be Explained?


  • G. Gandhi Kingdon


Differential treatment of sons and daughters by parents is a potential explanation of the gender gap in education in developing countries. This study empirically tests this explanation for India using household survey data collected in urban Uttar Pradesh in 1995. We estimate educational enrolment functions and selectivity-corrected educational attainment functions, conditional on enrolment. The gender difference in educational attainment is decomposed into the part that is explained by men and women's differential characteristics and the part that is not so explained (the conventional 'discrimination' component). The analysis suggests that girls face significantly different treatment in the intra-household allocation of education - there is a large unexplained component in the gender gap in schooling attainment. A detailed decomposition exercise attempts to discover the individual factors most responsible for the differential treatment.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Gandhi Kingdon, 2002. "The Gender Gap in Educational Attainment in India: How Much Can Be Explained?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 25-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:39:y:2002:i:2:p:25-53
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331322741

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Greenaway & David Sapsford, 1994. "What does liberalisation do for exports and growth?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(1), pages 152-174, March.
    2. Prema-Chandra Athukorala & James Riedel, 1996. "Modelling NIE exports: Aggregation, quantitative restrictions and choice of econometric methodology," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 81-98.
    3. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    4. Balassa, Bela, 1978. "Exports and economic growth : Further evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 181-189, June.
    5. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
    6. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Technology and trade," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1279-1337 Elsevier.
    7. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Tariffs, subsidies, and welfare with endogenous policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 285-299, November.
    9. Harrison, Ann & Hanson, Gordon, 1999. "Who gains from trade reform? Some remaining puzzles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-154, June.
    10. Greenaway, David & Sapsford, David, 1994. "Exports, growth, and liberalization: An evaluation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 165-186, April.
    11. Anne O. Krueger, 1989. "Asymmetries in Policy Between Exportables and Import-Competing Goods," NBER Working Papers 2904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Goldstein, Morris & Khan, Mohsin S, 1978. "The Supply and Demand for Exports: A Simultaneous Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 275-286, May.
    13. Krugman, Paul R, 1987. "Is Free Trade Passe?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 131-144, Fall.
    14. Goldstein, Morris & Khan, Mohsin S., 1985. "Income and price effects in foreign trade," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1041-1105 Elsevier.
    15. Mayer, Wolfgang & Riezman, Raymond G., 1987. "Endogenous choice of trade policy instruments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 377-381, November.
    16. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Arellano, Manuel, 1993. "On the testing of correlated effects with panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 87-97, September.
    18. Dani Rodrik, 1992. "The Limits of Trade Policy Reform in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 87-105, Winter.
    19. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    20. Krueger, Anne O, 1998. "Why Trade Liberalisation Is Good for Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1513-1522, September.
    21. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    22. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    23. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
    24. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-376, October.
    25. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1978. "Anatomy and Consequences of Exchange Control Regimes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bhag78-1, January.
    26. Harris, M.N. & Matyas, L., 1996. "A Comparative Analysis of Different Estimatiors for Dynamic Panel data Models," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 4/96, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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. Vegard Iversen & Adriaan Kalwij & Arjan Verschoor & Amaresh Dubey, 2014. "Caste Dominance and Economic Performance in Rural India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 423-457.
    3. Maitra, Pushkar & Pal, Sarmistha & Sharma, Anurag, 2016. "Absence of Altruism? Female Disadvantage in Private School Enrollment in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 105-125.
    4. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2009. "Abortion And Human Capital Accumulation: A Contribution To The Understanding Of The Gender Gap In Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(5), pages 559-579, November.
    5. repec:eee:cysrev:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:263-273 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lutfunnahar Begum & Philip J. Grossman & Asadul Islam, 2014. "Parental Attitude and Investment in Children’s Education and Health in Developing Countries," Monash Economics Working Papers 30-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    7. Rana Ejaz Ali Khan & Karamat Ali, 2005. "Bargaining Over Sons' and Daughters' Schooling-Probit Analysis of Household Behavior," HEW 0505002, EconWPA.
    8. Marian Meller & Stephan Litschig, 2016. "Adapting the Supply of Education to the Needs of Girls: Evidence from a Policy Experiment in Rural India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 760-802.
    9. Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra & Pastore, Francesco, 2017. "Returns to Education and Female Participation Nexus: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 11209, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Warunsiri, Sasiwimon & McNown, Robert, 2010. "The Returns to Education in Thailand: A Pseudo-Panel Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1616-1625, November.
    11. Lopez Boo, Florencia & Canon, Maria Eugenia, 2014. "Reversal of gender gaps in child development: Evidence from young children in India," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 55-59.
    12. Escobal, Javier & Flores, Eva, 2009. "Maternal Migration and Child Well-Being in Peru," MPRA Paper 56463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Salma Ahmad & Ranjan Ray, 2014. "Health consequences of child labour in Bangladesh," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(4), pages 111-150, January.
    14. Husain, Zakir, 2010. "Gender disparities in completing school education in India: Analyzing regional variations," MPRA Paper 25748, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra & Pastore, Francesco, 2018. "Returns to Education and Female Work Force Participation Nexus: Evidence from India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 162, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. repec:eee:injoed:v:56:y:2017:i:c:p:42-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Chakraborty, Tanika & Jayaraman, Rajshri, 2016. "School Feeding and Learning Achievement: Evidence from India's Midday Meal Program," IZA Discussion Papers 10086, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Amita Majumder & Chayanika Mitra, 2017. "Gender Bias in Education in West Bengal," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 15(1), pages 173-196, March.
    19. Sulayman Al-Qudsi & Asma Al-Qudsi, 2003. "Children's Educational Outcomes under Adverse Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from The West Bank and Gaza," Working Papers 0306, Economic Research Forum, revised 02 2003.
    20. Manuela Mota & Sara Casaca, 2016. "Gender Relations and the Dowry System in India - The Case of Hyderabad," CEsA Working Papers 143, CEsA - Center for African, Asian and Latin American Studies.
    21. Tanika Chakraborty & Rajshri Jayaraman, 2016. "School Feeding and Learning Achievement: Evidence from India's Midday Meal Program," CESifo Working Paper Series 5994, CESifo Group Munich.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:39:y:2002:i:2:p:25-53. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.