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Title: Three essays on the economics of the family : empirical evidence from India
Author: Basak, Barnali
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 6796
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2020
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Developing countries face many socio-economics challenges, such as (i) low level of educational and poor health attainments of children, (ii) low rate of female labour market participation, (iii) lack of access to basic amenities for living among urban slums-dwellers (iv) discrimination by caste, religion and ethnicity in socio-economic aspects of life and many more. This thesis empirically investigates some of these challenges in the Indian context. Chapter 2 revisits the child quantity-quality trade-off model formulated by Becker and Lewis in 1973 and it empirically examines whether child-quantity is inversely related to childquality. I use the 2011 India Human Development Survey dataset, consisting of a nationally representative survey of Indian households and an instrumental variable approach to control for an endogenous child-quantity variable (i.e., the number of children born per woman). Using twins as an instrument for child-quantity, the findings reveal that the negative impacts of having a large family size on schooling outcomes are relevant to the urban settlement and the nuclear family setting. These negative impacts on the average schooling outcomes primarily emerge from families that have five or more children. The impacts on health outcomes are relevant to the rural settlement and to both the extended and the nuclear family settings. Chapter 3 investigates the impact of fertility on female labour market outcomes. I use the same dataset and an instrumental variable approach to instrument an endogenous fertility variable. Using twins and first-born girl as instruments for fertility, the findings reveal that fertility discourages female labour market participation and longer hours of labour supply, particularly when children are young (under the age of six). Economic variable, such as hourly wage encourages female labour market participation as well as working for longer hours in the labour market, irrespective of age categories of dependent children. However, unearned family wealth discourages female labour market participation and working for longer hours in the labour market. Moreover, the female labour participation is higher among the disadvantaged households, such as Schedule castes and Schedule Tribes. This is because the economic condition of the households is extremely poor and it is particularly so for the similar households that are living in the slums and are deprived of many government benefits for not possessing a caste certificate. In Chapter 4, therefore, I examine the impact of the possession of a caste certificate on the standard of living of socio-economically disadvantaged eligible households residing in the slums of two Indian cities, namely Mumbai and Kolkata. I use the slum-level dataset that has been collected as a part of the NOPOOR project in 2013-14, funded by the European Commission, and an instrumental variable approach to control for the endogeneity in the possession of a caste certificate. The state of residence status (i.e., whether an eligible household is residing within its state of origin) is used as an instrument for the possession of a caste certificate. The findings reveal that the possession of a caste certificate improves the standard of living for the eligible households compared to the similar households that do not possess one, this is relevant for Other Backward Class households. The positive impact of the possession of a caste certificate on an eligible household's standard of living is mediated through the procurement of government jobs by at least one household member.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ0670 India ; HQ0792 Social conditions of children