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Remember When It Rained: The Elusiveness of Gender Discrimination in Indian School Enrollment

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  • Zimmermann, Laura V

    () (University of Georgia)

Abstract

Indian girls have significantly lower school enrollment rates than boys. Anecdotal evidence suggests that gender-differential treatment is the main explanation, but empirical support is often weak. I analyze school enrollment using rainfall shocks, a plausibly exogenous source of income variation. Rainfall shocks matter most for young children and monotonically decline with age. Girls' school enrollment is more vulnerable to rainfall shocks than that of boys for 6-10 year olds, but there are no gender differences for older children. I argue that these results need to be interpreted carefully since they are a combination of two underlying effects, but propose that one explanation are age-specific forms of gender discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Zimmermann, Laura V, 2012. "Remember When It Rained: The Elusiveness of Gender Discrimination in Indian School Enrollment," IZA Discussion Papers 6833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6833
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2008. "Household Expenditure Patterns and Gender Bias: Evidence from Selected Indian States," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 133-157.
    2. Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1485-1538.
    3. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2013. "Are Girls the Fairer Sex in India? Revisiting Intra-Household Allocation of Education Expenditure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 143-164.
    4. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285.
    5. Hemanshu Kumar & Rohini Somanathan, 2009. "Mapping Indian Districts Across Census Years, 1971-2001," Working papers 176, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    6. Sarah Baird & Jed Friedman & Norbert Schady, 2011. "Aggregate Income Shocks and Infant Mortality in the Developing World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 847-856, August.
    7. Elaina Rose, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing and Excess Female Mortality in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 41-49, February.
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    11. Björkman, Martina, 2006. "Income Shocks and Gender Gaps in Education: Evidence from Uganda," Seminar Papers 744, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    12. Laura Zimmermann, 2012. "Reconsidering Gender Bias in Intrahousehold Allocation in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 151-163, September.
    13. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
    14. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2005. "Where Has All the Bias Gone? Detecting Gender Bias in the Intrahousehold Allocation of Educational Expenditure," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 409-451, January.
    15. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rainfall; gender discrimination; school enrollment; education; India;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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