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Mother's Autonomy and Child Welfare: A New Measure and Some New Evidence

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  • Chakraborty, Tanika

    () (Indian Institute of Management)

  • De, Prabal K.

    () (City College of New York)

Abstract

We construct a new, direct measure of female autonomy in household decision-making by creating an index from the principal components of a variety of household variables on which mother of a child takes decision. We then examine its impacts on her child’s secondary education in Mexico and find that the children of Mexican mothers with greater autonomy in domestic decision making have higher enrolment in and lower probability of dropping out of secondary school. We use the relative proximity of spousal parents as instruments for relative autonomy to ameliorate the potential endogeneity between autonomy and welfare outcomes. We argue that omitted variables that may drive education and autonomy are likely to be uncorrelated with the ones driving location choice of families given the migration patterns in Mexico. However, the positive autonomy effect is weaker and non-existent for older children and for girls suggesting that gender-directed conditional cash transfer policies may not necessarily hasten educational and gender transition in the process of development.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakraborty, Tanika & De, Prabal K., 2011. "Mother's Autonomy and Child Welfare: A New Measure and Some New Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5438
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fernández-Val, Iván, 2009. "Fixed effects estimation of structural parameters and marginal effects in panel probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 71-85, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Alfano & Wiji Arulampalam & Uma Kambhampati, 2011. "Maternal Autonomy and the Education of the Subsequent Generation: Evidence from Three Contrasting States in India," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2011-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Sapkota, Pratikshya & Bastola, Umesh & Marsh, Thomas L., 2015. "Role Of Food Insecurity And Women’S Autonomy On Child Health: Empirical Evidence From Nepal," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205721, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2011-05 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dassanayake, Wijaya & Luckert, Martin K. & Mohapatra, Sandeep, 2015. "Heterogeneity of household structures and income: Evidence from Zimbabwe and South Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 668-692.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    instrumental variable; education; principal component; female empowerment;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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