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Does Higher Economic Development Reduce Household Size? Evidence from India


  • Tripathi, Sabyasachi


The paper investigates the impact of higher economic development on average household size in India. The analysis finds that increasing income measured by net per capita state domestic product and per capita consumption expenditure has a negative effect on average household size. Variables such as, higher level education, health outcomes, extent of inequality and urbanization has negative effect on the average household size. Lower level of poverty is associated with lower level family size in long run, whereas, infrastructure has a mix effect. Results show that different religious and social groups have an effect on family size in India. Smaller family size faces several problems such as child rearing, depression, separation, anxiety and land distribution dispute. The paper argues that the issue needs to bring into current development policies for changing social structure, land distribution process, and helping for maintaining appropriate balance between work and family which are missing currently.

Suggested Citation

  • Tripathi, Sabyasachi, 2018. "Does Higher Economic Development Reduce Household Size? Evidence from India," MPRA Paper 86684, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:86684

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:taf:rurpxx:v:10:y:2017:i:4:p:379-402 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Keera Allendorf, 2013. "Going Nuclear? Family Structure and Young Women’s Health in India, 1992–2006," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 853-880, June.
    3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    4. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and Household Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1415-1434, November.
    5. Hausman, Jerry & Stock, James H. & Yogo, Motohiro, 2005. "Asymptotic properties of the Hahn-Hausman test for weak-instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 333-342, December.
    6. Meenakshi, J. V. & Ray, Ranjan, 2002. "Impact of household size and family composition on poverty in rural India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 539-559, October.
    7. Sabyasachi Tripathi, 2013. "Do Large Agglomerations Lead To Economic Growth? Evidence From Urban India," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 176-200, November.
    8. Dreze, Jean & Srinivasan, P. V., 1997. "Widowhood and poverty in rural India: Some inferences from household survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 217-234, December.
    9. Premchand Dommaraju, 2015. "One-person households in India," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(45), pages 1239-1266, June.
    10. Sabyasachi Tripathi & Kavita Mahey, 2017. "Urbanization and economic growth in Punjab (India): an empirical analysis," Urban Research & Practice, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 379-402, October.
    11. Roberto J. Rios, 1991. "Economic Development and Family Size," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 35(2), pages 81-85, October.
    12. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
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    More about this item


    Household size; Economic development; India;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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