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A Life Course Perspective on Gender Differences in Cognitive Functioning in India

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  • Ilke Onur
  • Malathi Velamuri

Abstract

We examine gender differences in four measures of cognitive functioning among older Indians. We estimate the impact of childhood circumstances, choices in adulthood, and current circumstances on cognitive functioning. Baseline estimates reveal a female disadvantage across all measures. Our most detailed specification suggests that variables over the life course account for female disadvantage in one measure; sizable gaps remain in the others. Predicted cognition gaps are driven by gender differences in characteristics as well as the asymmetric returns to these characteristics. Lower cognitive functioning and higher life expectancy imply a lower quality of life for Indian women in old age.

Suggested Citation

  • Ilke Onur & Malathi Velamuri, 2016. "A Life Course Perspective on Gender Differences in Cognitive Functioning in India," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 520-563.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/688898
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East

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