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Education and Childlessness in India

Thomas Baudin and Koyel Sarkar ()
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Koyel Sarkar: Center for Demographic Research, Université Catholique de Louvain

No 2019-ECO-03, Working Papers from IESEG School of Management

Abstract: In a developing setting like India, women have started their long way to emancipation both at the family and societal levels. In this context, we study what may be perceived as a key sign of emancipation regarding marriage and motherhood: childlessness. Using micro-level regressions, we show that the probability of a woman ending her reproductive life without children exhibits a U-shaped relationship with her educational attainment. This is indicative of the fact that poverty and sterility are not the sole determinants of childlessness, but that better economic opportunities and empowerment within couples also matter. This result is robust to the introduction of important control variables such as the development level of the state where women live, the husband’s education, age at marriage, religion, and caste. India seems to be joining a list of countries where adjustments to childlessness are much more than simple responses to boom-andbust poverty.

Keywords: : Childlessness; education; poverty; sterility; development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 O11 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
Date: 2019-01
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