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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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19620.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Development & Change 1.34(2003): pp. 67-103
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19620
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  1. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
  2. Jensen, P. & Nielsen, H.S., 1996. "Child Labour or School Attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Papers 96-14, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  3. 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.
  4. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E., 1998. "On measuring literacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1997, The World Bank.
  5. T. Paul Schultz, 2001. "The Fertility Transition: Economic Explanations," Working Papers 833, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  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. 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.
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