Intra-Household Gender Disparity in School Choice: Evidence from Private Schooling in India
Soham Sahoo, Indian Statistical Institute
This paper explores the gender inequality within households in the decision of private versus government school choice in India. Using a three-period longitudinal data on rural households from Uttar Pradesh, a northern state of India, this paper estimates a household fixed effects model that also takes into account non-random enrollment decision. The results show that there is an intra-household gender gap of 5.4 percentage points in private school enrollment among the children aged 6 to 19 years. The female disadvantage in private school choice is significant among both younger and older children, and is rising over time. Moreover, a larger cost-difference between private and government schools is associated with a significantly higher gender gap. The village-specific difference in direct cost, particularly school fees, is the most prominent factor in explaining the gender gap. Robustness analysis considering the potential endogeneity of the cost variables indicates that the coefficients are unlikely to be driven by omitted variables.