Date of Submission


Date of Award


Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Subject Name



Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics Unit (TSMU-Kolkata)


Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop (EPU-Delhi; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

This thesis consists of three empirical essays that investigate issues related to the economics of education. The main focus of this thesis is to study schooling outcomes of children in a developing country: India. The first chapter explores the effect of mothers’ labour force participation on children’s educational outcomes in the context of a large employment guarantee program in India. This study finds that workfare schemes enhancing women’s access to economic opportunities have implications for intra-household resource allocation which in turn lead to a positive effect on children’s education. The second essay investigates the effect of better access to secondary education on primary school participation of rural children. Drawing motivation from recent literature on the convex shape of the education-income relationship in developing countries, this paper shows how developments at higher levels of education (secondary) influence decision of school participation even at much lower levels (primary). The third chapter looks into the issue of gender disparity in the choice of private versus government schools in rural India. Relating to the emerging literature on the recent growth of private schooling in India, this paper finds that households are less likely to send girls, as compared to boys, to fee-charging private schools. Moreover, the difference in schooling cost between private and government schools is found to have a significant association with the gender gap in private school enrollment.The following sections provide a brief description outlining the research questions, empirical strategies and main findings of each chapter of the thesis.1.1 Female Labour Force Participation and Child Education in India: Evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme This chapter studies the impact of women’s participation in the labour force on their children’s education in the context of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in India. While the main objective of NREGS is to alleviate rural poverty by providing employment to households on local public works, it mandates equal wage rates across gender and targets one third of the beneficiaries to be women. Thus, it has a potential to increase women’s access to labour market opportunities. We use child level longitudinal data collected by the Young Lives Study in Andhra Pradesh in 2007 and 2009-10. To identify exogenous changes in mothers’ labour force participation and household income, lagged value of the amount of funds allocated for NREGS and rainfall shocks within sub-districts are used as instrumental variables. Thus, we take into account the endogeneity of mother’s labour supply decision and household income in a two-stage least squares model. The empirical specification controls for child level unobserved heterogeneity by including child specific fixed effects, and allows the districts to have differential trends depending on their initial level of development. The main results of this paper suggest that after controlling for household income, mothers’ participation in the labour force has a significant and positive effect on children’s time spent in school, enrollment, and grade progression. We provide further evidence that mother’s participation in the workforce significantly increases households’ expenditure on children’s education, and also leads to improvements in her decision making power within the household.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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