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Births, Infants and Children: an Econometric Portrait of Women and Children in India


  • Borooah, Vani


This paper undertakes an econometric analysis of the constellation of factors that serve to determine some outcomes with respect to demography and to schooling in India. These are: the numbers of pregnancies, live births and infant survivals to women and the chances of children being enrolled at school and, if enrolled, of continuing in school. The econometric estimates are based on unit record data from a survey - carried out by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi - of 33,000 rural households - encompassing 195,000 individuals - spread over 1,765 villages, in 195 districts, in 16 states of India. The study concludes that a broad spectrum of factors affect these outcomes. The literacy of women is important but so is the literacy of men. Infrastructure, in the form of safe drinking water and easy access to medical facilities, is important for infant survivals and, in the shape of easy access to schools, is important for school enrolment. Parental occupation matters for both infant survivals and schooling: children born to women who work as labourers are disadvantaged, relative to other children, in terms of their chances both of surviving infancy and, if they do survive, of receiving schooling. The number of siblings that a child has affects his/her schooling outcomes and gender, religion and region play an important role.

Suggested Citation

  • Borooah, Vani, 2003. "Births, Infants and Children: an Econometric Portrait of Women and Children in India," MPRA Paper 19620, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19620

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vani Borooah, 2000. "The Welfare of Children in Central India: Econometric Analysis and Policy Simulation," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 263-287.
    2. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-1749, November.
    3. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
    4. Schultz, T. Paul, 1993. "Demand for children in low income countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 349-430 Elsevier.
    5. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
    6. Subbarao, Kalanidhi & Raney, Laura, 1992. "Social gains from female education : a cross-national study," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1045, The World Bank.
    7. T. Paul Schultz, 2001. "The Fertility Transition: Economic Explanations," Working Papers 833, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Borooah, Vani K., 2004. "On the incidence of diarrhoea among young Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 119-138, March.
    3. Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2008. "Measurement Error in Access to Markets," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 209-243, April.
    4. Vani Borooah & Sriya Iyer, 2005. "Vidya, Veda, and Varna: The influence of religion and caste on education in rural India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1369-1404.
    5. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Growth reference charts and the nutritional status of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 455-468, December.
    6. Borooah, Vani K., 2004. "The politics of demography: a study of inter-community fertility differences in India," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 551-578, September.
    7. Samuel Stroope, 2012. "Caste, Class, and Urbanization: The Shaping of Religious Community in Contemporary India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 105(3), pages 499-518, February.
    8. Vani K. Borooah, 2002. "The Role of Maternal Literacy in Reducing the Risk of Child Malnutrition in India," ICER Working Papers 31-2002, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    9. Myriam Blin, 2006. "Export-Oriented Policies, Women’s Work Burden and Human Development in Mauritius," Working Papers 147, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    10. Virgilio Galdo & Bertha Briceño, 2005. "Evaluating the Impact on Child Mortality of a Water Supply and Sewerage Expansion in Quiro:Is Water Enough?," OVE Working Papers 0105, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    11. Virgilio Galdo & Bertha Briceño, 2005. "Evaluating the Impact on Child Mortality of a Water Supply and Sewerage Expansion in Quito: Is Water Enough?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2833, Inter-American Development Bank.
    12. Borooah, Vani, 2009. "Maternal Literacy and Child Malnutrition in India," MPRA Paper 19833, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Births; Infants; Children; india;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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