November 2015

IZA DP No. 9518: Intergenerational Educational Persistence among Daughters: Evidence from India

Revised version forthcoming in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy

We examine educational transmission between fathers (mothers) and daughters in India for daughters born during 1962-1991. We find that educational persistence, as measured by the regression coefficient of father's (mother's) education as a predictor of daughter's education, has declined over time. However, the correlation between educational attainment of daughters and fathers (mothers), another commonly used measure of persistence, suggests only a marginal decline. Further decomposing the intergenerational correlation, we find that although persistence has declined at the lower end of the fathers' (mothers') educational distribution, it has been compensated by an increase in persistence at other parts of fathers' (mothers') educational distribution. We also find that "Equality of Opportunity" remains an elusive goal for India. Not only the probability of a daughter attaining senior secondary or above education (top end of educational distribution) is positively associated with father's (mother's) education levels, the gaps in those probabilities do not show any sign of convergence. Similarly, there is no sign of any convergence in the probability of a daughter attaining senior secondary or above education even with the same level of father's (mother's) education between Higher Hindu Castes' daughters and daughters belonging to disadvantaged groups such as Other Backward Castes or Scheduled Castes/Tribes.