Speaker: Dr. Sandip Datta, City Montessori School, Lucknow
Date & Hour: 24 August 2020, 4:00 pm
Title: Gender Bias in Intra-Household Allocation of Education in India: Has it fallen over time?
This paper employs a hurdle model approach to ask whether the extent of gender bias in education expenditure within rural households in India has changed over the nearly two-decade period from 1995 to 2014. Our most important finding is that the channel through which gender bias is practiced has changed dramatically over the 20 year period to 2014: while school enrolment of boys and non-enrolment of girls was the key mechanism of gender bias in 1995, by 2014 gender bias in the elementary age-group was exercised solely through lower conditional educational expenditure on girls, and this was achieved via enrolling boys in fee-charging private schools and girls in tuition-free government schools. Secondly, we reaffirm the usefulness of distinguishing between the two potential channels of gender bias (bias in the school enrolment decision, and bias in the conditional educational expenditure decision), rather than in the single unconditional education expenditure decision. We show that this distinction is important because gender bias in the enrolment decision has greatly fallen but bias in the conditional expenditure decision has significantly risen over time. Lastly, household fixed effects analysis shows that the observed gender biases are a within-household phenomenon rather than an artefact of differences in unobservables across households.