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Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes over Time and across States

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  • Gaston Yalonetzky
  • M. Niaz Asadullah

Abstract

This paper documents the extent of inequality of educational opportunity in India spanning the period 1983-2004 using National Sample Survey (NSS) data. We build on recent developments in the literature that has operationalized concepts in the inequality of opportunity theory (including Roemer’s) and construct three indices of inequality of educational opportunity using data on an adult sample. Irrespective of the index used, the state of Kerala stands out as the least unequal in terms of educational opportunities. However, even after excluding Kerala, significant inter-state divergence remains amongst the remaining states. Transition matrix analysis confirms substantial inter-temporal mobility in inequality of opportunity across Indian states. Rajasthan and Gujarat in the West and Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the Centre experienced large-scale fall in the ranking of inequality of opportunities. However, despite being poor, Eastern states of West Bengal and Orissa made significant progress in reducing inequality of opportunity. At a region level, Southern, Northeastern and Eastern regions on average experienced upward mobility (i.e. decline in inequality of opportunity) whilst the Central region experienced downward mobility. We conclude by examining the link between progress towards equality of opportunity and poverty reduction, growth and a selection of pro-poor policies.

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  • Gaston Yalonetzky & M. Niaz Asadullah, 2016. "Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes over Time and across States," Working Papers id:8845, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:8845
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anirudh Krishna, 2014. "Examining the Structure of Opportunity and Social Mobility in India: Who Becomes an Engineer?," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, January.
    2. Motiram, Sripad & Singh, Ashish, 2012. "How Close Does the Apple Fall to the Tree? Some Evidence on Intergenerational Occupational Mobility from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 101, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Sonali Jain-Chandra & Tidiane Kinda & Kalpana Kochhar & Shi Piao & Johanna Schauer, 2016. "Sharing the Growth Dividend; Analysis of Inequality in Asia," IMF Working Papers 16/48, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Jean-François Carpantier & Christelle Sapata, 2013. "An Ex-Post View of Inequality of Opportunity in France and its Regions," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 281-311, September.
    5. Rajius Idzalika & Maria C. Lo Bue, 2016. "Opportunities in education: are factors outside individual responsibility really persistent? Evidence from Indonesia, 1997-2007," Working Papers 397, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Ashish Singh, 2011. "Gender based intra-household inequality of opportunity in academic skills among Indian children," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2333-2346.
    7. repec:bpj:ajlecn:v:8:y:2017:i:1:p:36:n:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Vladimir Hlasny, 2017. "Different Faces of Inequality across Asia: Decomposition of Income Gaps across Demographic Groups," LIS Working papers 691, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    9. repec:eee:injoed:v:56:y:2017:i:c:p:42-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Emran, M. Shahe & Greene, William H & Shilpi, Forhad, 2015. "When measure matters: coresident sample selection bias in estimating intergenerational mobility in developing countries," MPRA Paper 65920, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Ranasinghe Rasika, 2015. "The Transmission of Education across Generations: Evidence from Australia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 1893-1917, October.
    12. Mehtabul Azam & Vipul Bhatt, 2015. "Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Educational Mobility in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1929-1959, December.
    13. repec:col:000174:015711 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Emran, M. Shahe & Sun, Yan, 2014. "Are the Children of Uneducated Farmers Doubly Doomed? Farm, Nonfarm and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Rural China," MPRA Paper 59230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Emran,M. Shahe & Sun,Yan - GSP05, 2015. "Are the children of uneducated farmers doubly disadvantaged ? farm, nonfarm and intergenerational educational mobility in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7459, The World Bank.
    16. Kishan P K V, 2018. "Is the Past Still Holding Us Back? A Study on Intergenerational Education Mobility in India (revised as on 28.03.18)," IIMA Working Papers WP 2018-01-03, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    17. Reddy, A. Bheemeshwar, 2015. "Changes in Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in India: Evidence from National Sample Surveys, 1983–2012," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 329-343.
    18. repec:lde:journl:y:2017:i:87:p:165-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:eee:injoed:v:60:y:2018:i:c:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:99-110 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    schooling mobility; dissimilarity index; Gini of opportunity index; overlap index;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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