IZA DP No. 6329: Social Divisions in School Participation and Attainment in India: 1983-2004
published in: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2014, 38(4), 869-893
This study documents the size and nature of "Hindu-Muslim" and "boy-girl" gaps in children's school participation and attainments in India. Individual-level data from two successive rounds of the National Sample Survey suggest that considerable progress has been made in decreasing the Hindu-Muslim gap. Nonetheless, the gap remains sizable even after controlling for numerous socio-economic and parental covariates, and the Muslim educational disadvantage in India today is greater than that experienced by girls and Scheduled Caste Hindu children. A gender gap still appears within as well as between communities, though it is smaller within Muslim communities. While differences in gender and other demographic and socio-economic covariates have recently become more important in explaining the Hindu-Muslim gap, those differences altogether explain only 25 percent to 45 percent of the observed schooling gap.