Social Returns from Fertility Decline: Impact on Child-Schooling in India

Puspita Datta, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

It is a well-known fact that child schooling has far-reaching influence particularly on shaping a child’s subsequent living and overall socioeconomic development of the society. With declining fertility, it becomes imperative to identify how and to what extent it influences child schooling. Using data from the National Family Health Survey, this paper attempts to observe the trend in child schooling scenario in India and to examine the impact of fertility decline on child’s schooling, considering rural children whose parents are illiterate. Analyses show sex and birth-order differential in school attendance is statistically significant. Child schooling is negatively related with family size and it increases considerably in smaller families, among contraceptives users compared to non-users. Contraceptive use significantly influences child schooling, apart from its influence through reducing family size. Earlier-born and girl children are benefited more in terms of schooling when family size declines. Thus, a return of fertility decline is favorable for the children’s education.

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Presented in Session 163: Social Demographic Aspects of Fertility in the Developing World