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How Much of the Gender Difference in Child School Enrolment Can Be Explained? Evidence from Rural India

  • Sarmistha Pal

    (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University)

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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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0309004.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 16 Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0309004
Note: Type of Document - ; pages: 20
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  1. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  2. Jean Dreze & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1999. "School Participation in Rural India," Working papers 69, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  3. Ashish Garg & Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: Evidence from child health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 471-493.
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  5. Paul Glewwe & Hanan Jacoby, 1994. "Student Achievement and Schooling Choice in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 843-864.
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  7. Sarmistha Pal & Jocelyn Kynch, 2000. "Determinants of occupational change and mobility in rural India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(12), pages 1559-1573.
  8. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1997. "Does the labour market explain lower female schooling in India?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6715, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Malathy Duraisamy, 2000. "Child Schooling and Child Work in India," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0837, Econometric Society.
  10. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
  11. Singh, Ram D, 1992. "Underinvestment, Low Economic Returns to Education, and the Schooling of Rural Children: Some Evidence from Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 645-64, April.
  12. John L. Newman & Paul J. Gertler, 1994. "Family Productivity, Labor Supply, and Welfare in a Low Income Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 989-1026.
  13. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  14. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
  15. Pal, Sarmistha, 1999. "An Analysis of Childhood Malnutrition in Rural India: Role of Gender, Income and Other Household Characteristics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1151-1171, July.
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