Mothers’ Social Networks and Socioeconomic Gradients of Isolation

42 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2020 Last revised: 21 Feb 2021

See all articles by Alison Andrew

Alison Andrew

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Orazio Attanasio

Dept of Economics Yale University; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); University College London - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Britta Augsburg

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); UNU-MERIT

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania

Monimalika Day

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pamela Jervis

University College London

Costas Meghir

Yale University; Yale University - Cowles Foundation; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Angus Phimister

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2020

Abstract

Social connections are fundamental to human wellbeing. This paper examines the social networks of young married women in rural Odisha, India. This is a group for whom highly-gendered norms around marriage, mobility and work are likely to shape opportunities to form and maintain meaningful ties with other women. We track the social networks of 2,170 mothers over four years, and find a high degree of isolation. Wealthier women and women from more-advantaged castes and tribes have smaller social networks than their less-advantaged peers. These gradients are primarily driven by the fact that more-advantaged women are less likely to know other women within the same socioeconomic group than are less-advantaged women. There exists strong homophily by socioeconomic status (SES) that is symmetric across socioeconomic groups. Mediation analysis shows that SES differences in social isolation are strongly associated with ownership of toilets and labor force participation. Further research should investigate the formation and role of female networks.

Suggested Citation

Andrew, Alison and Attanasio, Orazio and Augsburg, Britta and Behrman, Jere and Day, Monimalika and Jervis, Pamela and Meghir, Costas and Phimister, Angus, Mothers’ Social Networks and Socioeconomic Gradients of Isolation (November 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w28049, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3727125

Alison Andrew (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Orazio Attanasio

Dept of Economics Yale University ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

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London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7679 5880 (Phone)
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Britta Augsburg

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifs.org.uk/centres/EDePo

UNU-MERIT ( email )

Keizer Karelplein 19
Maastricht, 6211TC
Netherlands

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Monimalika Day

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Pamela Jervis

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Costas Meghir

Yale University ( email )

37 Hillhouse avenue
New Haven, CT CT 06511
United States
+12034323558 (Phone)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Angus Phimister

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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