Educational Inequality in India: An Analysis of Gender Differences in Reading and Mathematics

Published By: India Human Development Survey | Published Date: January, 01 , 2015

This paper analyzes gender differences in reading and mathematics among Indian children ages 8-11 using data from the 2005 India Human Development Survey. Employing descriptive statistics and ordered logistic regression techniques, this study examines how social background, access to learning resources, time devoted to formal learning activities, and cultural attitudes are associated with gender inequality in educational outcomes. It is hypothesized that gender inequality may result from historical attitudes regarding the education of girls as well as certain parents choosing to prioritize sons’ education over daughters’ education. This may be due to a hidden opportunity cost of engaging girls in activities (e.g. childcare) that have economic value for the family, particularly for girls in rural areas and from the lowest income families. The results provide some evidence to support these theories. Relative to boys, the presence of younger siblings reduces the likelihood of girls advancing in both reading and mathematics. In addition, higher levels of household assets increase the likelihood of girls advancing in reading. Unfortunately, mixed findings related to rural/urban status provide less insight than desired regarding this factor. Finally, attitudes supportive of female education are found to benefit girls’ reading achievement.

Author(s): Joan Kahn, Matt Ruther, Gregory White | Posted on: Feb 15, 2017 | Views()

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