Do Constraints on Women Worsen Child Deprivations? Framework, Measurement, and Evidence from India

32 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Alberto Posso

Alberto Posso

RMIT University

Stephen C. Smith

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Lucia Ferrone

Innocenti Research Centre, UNICEF

Abstract

This paper provides a framework for analyzing constraints that apply specifically to women, which theory suggests may have negative impacts on child outcomes (as well as on women). We classify women's constraints into four dimensions: (i) domestic physcial and psychological abuse, (ii) low influence on household decisions, (iii) restrictions on mobility, and (iv) limited information access. Each of these constraints are in principle determined within households. We test the impact of women's constraints on child outcomes using nationally representative household Demographic and Health Survey data from India, including 53,030 mothers and 113,708 children, collected in 2015-16.Outcomes are measured as multidimensional deprivations, utilizing UNICEF's Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis index, incorporating deficiencies in children's access to water, sanitation, housing, healthcare, nutrition, education and information. We identify causal impacts using a Lewbel specification and present an array of additional econometric strategies and robustness checks. We find that children of women who are subjected to domestic abuse, have low influence in decision making, and limited freedom of mobility are more likely to be deprived.

Keywords: child deprivations, MODA, child health, child nutrition, education, bargaining, empowerment, domestic abuse, mobility restrictions, information access, gendered constraints, multidimensional measurement, Lewbel estimation, instrumental variables, matching

JEL Classification: I15, I25, I32, O15

Suggested Citation

Posso, Alberto and Smith, Stephen C. and Ferrone, Lucia, Do Constraints on Women Worsen Child Deprivations? Framework, Measurement, and Evidence from India. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12196, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390183

Alberto Posso (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Stephen C. Smith

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G Street NW
306 Monroe Hall
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www2.gwu.edu/~iiep/about/faculty/ssmith/

Lucia Ferrone

Innocenti Research Centre, UNICEF ( email )

Piazza SS.Annuziata, 12
Florence, I-50122
Italy

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