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Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India

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  • López Bóo, Florencia

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Canon, Maria Eugenia

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood. We find steep caste and gender gradients and few substantive changes once children enter school. The gender gap, however, reverses its sign for the upper caste, with girls performing better than boys at age 5 but thereafter following the general pattern in India of boys performing better.

Suggested Citation

  • López Bóo, Florencia & Canon, Maria Eugenia, 2014. "Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India," IZA Discussion Papers 8191, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8191
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sonalde Desai & Veena Kulkarni, 2008. "Changing educational inequalities in india in the context of affirmative action," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(2), pages 245-270, May.
    2. Norbert Schady & Jere Behrman & Maria Caridad Araujo & Rodrigo Azuero & Raquel Bernal & David Bravo & Florencia Lopez-Boo & Karen Macours & Daniela Marshall & Christina Paxson & Renos Vakis, 2015. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 446-463.
    3. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    4. Ganguli, Ina & Hausmann, Ricardo & Viarengo, Martina, 2011. "Closing the Gender Gap in Education: Does It Foretell the Closing of the Employment, Marriage, and Motherhood Gaps?," Working Paper Series rwp11-021, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    5. M. Niaz Asadullah & Uma Kambhampati & Florencia Lopez Boo, 2014. "Social divisions in school participation and attainment in India: 1983–2004," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 869-893.
    6. Sharmistha Self & Richard Grabowski, 2011. "Is there gender bias in participation in early childhood education programs in developing countries? Role of mother's education," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 909-925, October.
    7. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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    9. S. Mahendra Dev, 2008. "India," Chapters,in: Handbook on the South Asian Economies, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Norbert Schady & Jere Behrman & Maria Caridad Araujo & Rodrigo Azuero & Raquel Bernal & David Bravo & Florencia Lopez-Boo & Karen Macours & Daniela Marshall & Christina Paxson & Renos Vakis, 2015. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 446-463.
    11. Ira N. Gang & Kunal Sen & Myeong-Su Yun, 2008. "Poverty In Rural India: Caste And Tribe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(1), pages 50-70, March.
    12. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    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. M. Niaz Asadullah & Uma Kambhampati & Florencia Lopez Boo, 2014. "Social divisions in school participation and attainment in India: 1983–2004," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 869-893.
    15. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bando, Rosangela & López Bóo, Florencia, 2016. "Sex-Differences in Language and Socio-Emotional Skills: Evidence from Large Scale Studies of Very Young Children," IZA Discussion Papers 10315, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    caste inequality; gender; India; cognitive skills; children; Oaxaca;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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