Intra-Household Gender Disparity in School Choice: Evidence from Private Schooling in India

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Research Article

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Journal of Development Studies


This paper explores gender inequality within households in the decision of private versus government school choice in India. Using a three-period longitudinal dataset on rural households from Uttar Pradesh, a northern state of India, this paper estimates a household fixed effects model and finds that there is an intra-household gender bias of 6 percentage points in private school enrolment among children aged 6–16 years. Contrary to the trend in overall enrolment, the gender gap in private school choice is rising over time, and is more pronounced in villages with a larger cost difference between private and government schooling. This finding remains robust even after controlling for average school quality and considering potential endogeneity of the cost variables.

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