Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Births, Infants and Children: an Econometric Portrait of Women and Children in India

Borooah, Vani (2003): Births, Infants and Children: an Econometric Portrait of Women and Children in India. Published in: Development & Change , Vol. 34, No. 1 (2003): pp. 67-103.

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This paper undertakes an econometric analysis of the constellation of factors that serve to determine some outcomes with respect to demography and to schooling in India. These are: the numbers of pregnancies, live births and infant survivals to women and the chances of children being enrolled at school and, if enrolled, of continuing in school. The econometric estimates are based on unit record data from a survey - carried out by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi - of 33,000 rural households - encompassing 195,000 individuals - spread over 1,765 villages, in 195 districts, in 16 states of India. The study concludes that a broad spectrum of factors affect these outcomes. The literacy of women is important but so is the literacy of men. Infrastructure, in the form of safe drinking water and easy access to medical facilities, is important for infant survivals and, in the shape of easy access to schools, is important for school enrolment. Parental occupation matters for both infant survivals and schooling: children born to women who work as labourers are disadvantaged, relative to other children, in terms of their chances both of surviving infancy and, if they do survive, of receiving schooling. The number of siblings that a child has affects his/her schooling outcomes and gender, religion and region play an important role.

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