Household Headship and Academic Skills of Indian Children: A Special Focus on Gender Disparities



Using multivariate analyses and reading, mathematics and writing scores of children (aged 8–11 years) from a nationally representative sample, we find that children from female headed households either perform better or similar, but never worse than those from male headed households. Also, household fixed effect analysis reveals no gender disparity in academic scores of children belonging to female headed households, a case not true for children from male headed households. We relate this finding to gender parity in educational expenditure on children in female headed households against gender disparity in the same in households headed by males. Based on our findings we also offer some policy suggestions.


Household headship Academic skills Gender disparities Indian children 

Sexe du chef de ménage et compétences scolaires des enfants indiens : une analyse des disparités entre sexe


Les résultats de cet article, basés sur les scores obtenus en lecture, en mathématiques et en écriture par des enfants indiens (âgés de 8 à 11 ans) dans le cadre d’une enquête représentative au niveau national, et sur l’utilisation de méthodes d’analyses multivariées, montrent que les enfants appartenant à des ménages dirigés par des femmes ont des niveaux de performance soit meilleurs soit similaires, mais jamais inférieurs à ceux d’enfants appartenant à des ménages dirigés par des hommes. De plus, une analyse avec effets fixes ne révèle aucune différence selon le sexe dans les scores scolaires des enfants des ménages dont le chef est une femme, ce qui n’est pas le cas des enfants des ménages dont le chef est un homme. Ce résultat pourrait être la conséquence de dépenses scolaires égales pour les garçons et pour les filles dans les ménages dirigés par les femmes, ce qui ne serait pas le cas dans les ménages dirigés par les hommes. A partir de ces résultats, quelques implications en termes de politiques sont également suggérées.


Chef de ménage Compétences scolaires Disparités entre sexe Inde Enfants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DevelopmentAzim Premji UniversityBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Asia Research CentreLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK
  3. 3.Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Goregaon (E)MumbaiIndia

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