Does Increased Access Increase Equality? Gender and Child Health Investments in India
Policymakers often argue that increasing access to health care is one crucial avenue for decreasing gender inequality in the developing world. Although this is generally true in the cross section, time series evidence does not always point to the same conclusion. This paper analyzes the relationship between access to child health investments and gender inequality in those health investments in India. A simple theory of gender-biased parental investment suggests that gender inequality may actually be non-monotonically related to access to health investments. At low levels of availability, investment in girls and boys is low but equal; as availability increases, boys get investments first, creating inequality. As availability increases further, girls also receive investments and equality is restored. I test this theory using data on the relationship between gender balance in vaccinations and the availability of "Health Camps" in India. I find support for a non-monotonic relationship. This result may shed light on the contrast between the cross-sectional and time-series evidence on gender and development, and may provide guidance for health policy in developing countries.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2006|
|Publication status:||published as Oster, Emily. "Does Increased Access Increase Equality? Gender and Child Health Investments in India." Journal of Development Economics 89, 1 (May 2009): 62-76.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pande, Rohini P. & Yazbeck, Abdo S., 2003. "What's in a country average? Wealth, gender, and regional inequalities in immunization in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(11), pages 2075-2088, December.
- Bhattacharya, Jay & Lakdawalla, Darius, 2006. "Does Medicare benefit the poor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 277-292, January.
- Borooah, Vani K., 2004.
"Gender bias among children in India in their diet and immunisation against disease,"
Social Science & Medicine,
Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1719-1731, May.
- Borooah, Vani, 2004. "Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease," MPRA Paper 19590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bhargava, Alok, 2003. "Family planning, gender differences and infant mortality: evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 225-240, January.
- Vinod Mishra & T. K. Roy & Robert D. Retherford, 2004. "Sex Differentials in Childhood Feeding, Health Care, and Nutritional Status in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 269-295.
- Rohini Pande, 2003. "Selective gender differences in childhood nutrition and immunization in rural India: The role of siblings," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 395-418, August.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1988.
"Migration selectivity and the effects of public programs,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 265-289, December.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Migration Selectivity and the Effects of Public Programs," Bulletins 8442, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- Derek Neal & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paula Griffiths & Zoë Matthews & Andrew Hinde, 2000. "Understanding the sex ratio in India: A simulation approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(4), pages 477-488, November.
- Kanbur, Ravi & Haddad, Lawrence, 1994.
"Are Better Off Households More Unequal or Less Unequal?,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 445-458, July.
- Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "Are better off households more unequal or less unequal ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 373, The World Bank.
- Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1997.
"The Incidence of Medicare,"
NBER Working Papers
6013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004.
"Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?,"
NBER Working Papers
10591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005. "Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
- Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "The Effect of School Accountability Systems on the Level and Distribution of Student Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 406-415, 04/05.
- Chatterjee, Meera, 1990. "Indian women, health, and productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 442, The World Bank.
- Michael Greenstone & Kenneth Y. Chay, 2000. "The Convergence in Black-White Infant Mortality Rates during the 1960's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 326-332, May.
- Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Determinants of Gender Equity in India: Examining Dyson and Moore's Thesis with New Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 239-268.
- Peter Mayer, 1999. "India's Falling Sex Ratios," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 323-343.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12743. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.