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|
|Date of revision:|
|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: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Rohini Pande, 2003. "Selective gender differences in childhood nutrition and immunization in rural India: The role of siblings," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 395-418, August.
- Kanbur, Ravi & Haddad, Lawrence, 1994.
"Are Better Off Households More Unequal or Less Unequal?,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 445-58, July.
- Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "Are better off households more unequal or less unequal ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 373, The World Bank.
- 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. "Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McClellan, Mark & Skinner, Jonathan, 2006.
"The incidence of Medicare,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 257-276, January.
- Paula Griffiths & Zoë Matthews & Andrew Hinde, 2000. "Understanding the sex ratio in India: A simulation approach," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 477-488, November.
- Borooah, Vani, 2004.
"Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease,"
19590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- 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.
- Peter Mayer, 1999. "India's Falling Sex Ratios," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 323-343.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.