Missing Women and India's Religious Demography

31 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016  

Vani K. Borooah

University of Ulster at Jordanstown - School of Economics and Politics

Quy-Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Sriya Iyer

University of Cambridge

Shareen Joshi

University of Chicago

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

The authors use recent data from the 2006 National Family Health Survey of India to explore the relationship between religion and demographic behavior. They find that fertility and mortality vary not only between religious groups, but also across caste groups. These groups also differ with respect to socio-economic status. The central finding of this paper is that despite their socio-economic disadvantages, Muslims have higher fertility than their Hindu counterparts and also exhibit lower levels of infant mortality (particularly female infant mortality). This effect is robust to the inclusion of controls for non-religious factors such as socio-economic status and area of residence. This result has important policy implications because it suggests that India's problem of"missing women"may be concentrated in particular groups. The authors conclude that religion and caste play a key role in determining the demographic characteristics of India.

Keywords: Population Policies, Gender and Law, Gender and Health, Adolescent Health, Population & Development

Suggested Citation

Borooah, Vani K. and Do, Quy-Toan and Iyer, Sriya and Joshi, Shareen, Missing Women and India's Religious Demography (October 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1498970

Vani K. Borooah (Contact Author)

University of Ulster at Jordanstown - School of Economics and Politics ( email )

Newtownabbey
County Antrim BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland
United Kingdom

Quy Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Sriya Iyer

University of Cambridge ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom

Shareen Joshi

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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