An Assessment of Gender Discrimination in Household Expenditure on Education in India

Type Journal Article - Oxford Development Studies
Title An Assessment of Gender Discrimination in Household Expenditure on Education in India
Volume 41
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 1-19
Gender discrimination in household expenditure on education has led to unsatisfactory progress in educational attainment for women in many countries across the world. It has been observed that households across different states in rural and urban India prefer to incur more expenditure on education for male members than for females. Kingdon (2005) [Where has all the bias gone? Detecting gender bias in the intra-household allocation of educational expenditure, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 53(2), 409–452] has observed significant gender bias in household educational expenditure in a number of Indian states utilizing the household survey data of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi. Other researchers, such as Chaudhuri & Roy (2006) [Do parents spread educational expenditure evenly across the two genders? Evidence from two North Indian states, Economic and Political Weekly, 41, pp. 5276–5282] and Lancaster et al. (2008) [Household expenditure patterns and gender bias: evidence from selected Indian states, Oxford Development Studies, 36(2), 133–157], have also confirmed the presence of significant gender bias in the expenses incurred on education by households in India. However, few of these studies are based on the analysis of sufficiently large, contemporary datasets, and hence they are unable to provide a picture of gender discrimination at the disaggregated level, i.e. at the state level. Since there is wide variation in social, cultural, anthropometrical, economic and many other factors among Indian states, it is important to analyse gender disparity in India at the level of the state. Here, utilizing individual-level data on educational expenditure from the 64th round of the National Sample Survey, an attempt is made to assess the current scenario in gender inequality in household educational expenditure in India at both the national and state level. It is observed that significant gender disparity exists in intra-household educational expenses and that this discrimination is not confined to the “backward” or developing states in India.

Related studies