Does Mother's Autonomy within the Household Matter for Child Education in India?

Dhiman Das, National University of Singapore

In this paper, I examine the effect of mothers’s autonomy within the household on child educational inputs and school participation. Several studies have found that, mother’s autonomy in household decision making, plays an important role in child welfare, particularly in health. Using data from the nationally representative India Human Development Survey (2004-05), I examine whether such an explanation also extends to the case of educational inputs and outcomes. Using a measure of autonomy, which brings together the sources, settings and evidences of power, I find that mother’s autonomy plays an important role in time allocation, but its effect on educational expenditure is limited to younger children. Further, as autonomy rise, mother’s autonomy is found to be related to increased work participation among older children, though the effect disappears at higher level of autonomy. I also find an independent effect of mother’s education on child educational outcome.

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 Presented in Session P4. Children and Youth/Population and Aging