Are girls the fairer sex in India? Revisting intra-household allocation of education expenditure
This paper revisits the issue of the intra-household of education with the recently available India Human Development Survey which refers to 2005 and covers both urban and rural areas.� In addition to the traditional Engel method, the paper utilizes a Hurdle model to disentangle the decision to enroll (incur any educational expenditure) and the decision of how much to spend on education, conditional on enrolling.� Finally the paper also uses household fixed effects to examine whether any gender bias is a within-household phenomenon.� The paper finds that the traditional Engel method often fails to pick up gender bias where it exists not only because of the aggregation of data at the household-level but also because of aggregation of the two decisions in which gender can have opposite signs.� It is found that pro-male gender bias exists in the primary school age group for several states but that the incidence of gender bias increases with age - it is greater in the middle school age group (10-14 years) and greater still in the secondary school age group (15-19 years).� However, gender discrimination in the secondary school age group 15-19 takes place mainly through the decision to enroll boys and not girls, and not through differential expenditure on girls and boys.� The results also suggest that the extent of pro-male gender bias in educational expenditure is substantially greater in rural than in urban areas.� Finally, our results suggest that an important mechanism through which households spend less on girls than boys is by sending sons to fee-charging private schools and daughters to the fee-free government-funded schools.
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