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Innocenti Working Papers

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) was created to strengthen UNICEF's research capability and to support its advocacy for children worldwide. The Working Papers (formerly Innocenti Occasional Papers), are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues.

English

Do Constraints on Women Worsen Child Deprivations?

Framework, Measurement and Evidence from India

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) low influence on household decisions, (ii) restrictions on mobility, (iii) domestic physical and psychological abuse, 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. We examine outcomes including nutrition, health, education, water quality, and sanitation. In our primary specification, outcomes are measured as multidimensional deprivations incorporating indicators for each of these deficiencies, utilizing a version of UNICEF’s Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis index. 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 consistently more likely to be deprived, measured both multidimensionally and with separate indicators.

English

Keywords: multidimensional measurement, child deprivations, instrumental variables, matching, child health, MODA, information access, child nutrition, bargaining, empowerment, Lewbel estimation, education, mobility restrictions, gendered constraints, domestic abuse
JEL: I25: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Economic Development; I32: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Measurement and Analysis of Poverty; I15: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health and Economic Development; O15: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
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