Education & Inequality

Working Papers

Sanyal, Rituparna (2020): Do Children Play on a Level Playing Field? Measuring Inequality of Opportunity in BangladeshDRF Working Paper 2, October 2020.

Abstract- This paper attempts to measure the inequality of opportunity in basic education, health, infrastructure and documentation services among children in Bangladesh at the division level based on two waves (2011 and 2015) of data from the Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS). The analysis applies a methodology called the Human Opportunity Index (HOI), which measures the total contribution of individual socioeconomic and demographic circumstances to inequality of opportunity in accessing basic services. The novelty of this paper is the use of household surveys and decomposition techniques to understand the scale and distribution effects over time. The change in the HOI between the two periods has been decomposed into a scale effect (coverage) and distribution effect (equity). Much of the increase is due to the scale effect and not so much due to the distribution effect. Results of the empirical analysis indicate that opportunities to access basic services in the seven divisions vary widely in terms of availability and distribution, ranging from 67 percent in Dhaka to 55 percent in Sylhet. Of the four dimensions studied in this paper (viz education, health, housing, identification document), the HOI is highest for health at 80 percent and lowest for education at 43 percent. Over the four years, there has been a 10 percent increase in the overall opportunity index of the country, which stood at 64 percent in 2015. The index will therefore allow policy makers to track the country’s progress over time in improving the distribution of certain basic opportunities to children.

Ghai, Surbhi (2018): The Anomaly of Women's Work and Education in IndiaICRIER Working Paper 368, December 2018.

Abstract- This paper utilizes a large cross-section of data sets such as the ILOSTAT, NSSO Quinquennial Employment and Unemployment Survey, Labour Bureau Annual Employment and Unemployment Survey, National Family Health Survey and CMIE Consumer Pyramid Household Survey to comment on the falling female labour force participation rates in India. It is found that not only has there been a fall in the female labour force participation rates, but the size of the total female labour force has also shrunk in recent years. Besides presenting a series of demand and supply side factors that might possibly explain this trend, it aims to look at it particularly in conjunction with education and provide a commentary on the same. It is proposed that prevailing social norms and patriarchy hinders the participation of women in the economy despite high levels of education. Bivariate and multivariate analyses is conducted on state level cross-sectional data and it is found that patriarchy is indicative of the large proportion of women out of the labour force at high levels of education. It is concluded that education in the current form alone might not be sufficient to spur growth in female labour force participation rates in India. Government schemes must target the fundamental cultural and social forces that shape patriarchy. These coupled with policies that simultaneously address some of the other demand and supply side constraints will go a long way in bolstering the participation of women in the economy.