Author: Tanu Gupta and A. Ganesh Kumar
Title: Structural Equation Approach to Modelling Social Norms in Female Education: A Case Study of India
Abstract: The literature on the relationship between social norms and female educational outcomes has ignored some important aspects. First, norms are unobservable; what we observe are practices that are manifestation of norms. Second, norms are not monolithic that can be measured using a single indicator. They are indicated by several indicators and each indicator is an imperfect measure of the underlying norm. Third, norms are dynamic and can be affected by various factors. This paper examines the relationship between social norms and female educational outcomes addressing these concerns. We estimate a MIMIC (Multiple-Indicator- andMultiple-Cause) model in structural equation framework using the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS), 2011-12 data for different regions and social groups. We find that norms adversely affect educational attainment for females and the effect is stronger in rural region than urban. The effect is more pronounced among Brahmins in rural region, followed by OBCs, Forward Castes, Adivasis and Dalits, whereas it is significant only among OBCs and Dalits in urban region. While education of both parents has a positive impact on female education, the mother’s education has a norm-breaking effect and father’s education has a norm-binding effect.
Keywords: Social Norms, Female Education, Structural Equation, MIMIC model, India
JEL Code: C30, D91, I24, Z13