How Much of the Gender Difference in Child School Enrolment Can Be Explained? Evidence from Rural India
There are significant gender differences in child schooling in the Indian states though very few studies explain this gender difference. Unlike most existing studies we take account of the implicit and explicit opportunity costs of schooling and use a bivariate probit model to jointly determine child’s participation in school and market jobs. Results obtained from the WIDER villages in West Bengal suggest that indicators of household resources, parental preferences, returns to and opportunity costs of domestic work significantly affect child school enrolment. While household resources have similar effects on enrolment of boys and girls, other arguments tend to explain a part of the observed gender difference. Even after taking account of all possible arguments, there remains a large variation in gender differences in child schooling that cannot be explained by differences in male and female characteristics in our sample.
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