Social Identity and Educational Attainment: The Role of Caste and Religion in Explaining Differences between Children in India

Vani Borooah

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The aim of this paper is to gauge the size of the educational gap between children, aged 8-11 years, belonging to the different social groups in India. It is well established that educational attainments vary considerably between India's caste and religious groups with Muslims, Dalits (the Scheduled Castes), Adivasis (the Scheduled Tribes), and the ‘Other Backward Classes’ (the OBC) being the most backward. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey of 2005 - which tested over 12,300 children, aged 8-11, for their ability to read, write, and do arithmetic at different levels of competence - this study examines inequalities within social groups in the test scores of children to argue that inter-group comparisons of educational attainment should take into account not just the mean level of achievement of the children in a group but, also, the degree of inequality in the distribution of achievements between children in the group. The paper then proceeds to enquire why different children have different levels of educational achievement. The central conclusion is that, after controlling for a number of parental, household and school-related factors, children from all the different social groups, when compared to Brahmin children, were disadvantaged, in some or all of the three competencies of reading, arithmetic, and writing. However, this disadvantage was greatest for Muslim, Dalit, and Adivasi children. These children were disadvantaged with respect to all three competencies and their disadvantage embraced failure as well as success. Using a decomposition analysis, the paper quantifies the “structural advantage” that Brahmin and High Caste children enjoyed over their Dalit and Muslim counterparts.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages887-903
    JournalJournal of Development Studies
    Volume48
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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    educational attainment
    caste
    religion
    Religion
    India
    Muslim
    decomposition analysis
    Group
    religious group
    gauge
    ethnic group

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    @article{cd2e04e421914bbe84bbf9062e075c40,
    title = "Social Identity and Educational Attainment: The Role of Caste and Religion in Explaining Differences between Children in India",
    abstract = "The aim of this paper is to gauge the size of the educational gap between children, aged 8-11 years, belonging to the different social groups in India. It is well established that educational attainments vary considerably between India's caste and religious groups with Muslims, Dalits (the Scheduled Castes), Adivasis (the Scheduled Tribes), and the ‘Other Backward Classes’ (the OBC) being the most backward. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey of 2005 - which tested over 12,300 children, aged 8-11, for their ability to read, write, and do arithmetic at different levels of competence - this study examines inequalities within social groups in the test scores of children to argue that inter-group comparisons of educational attainment should take into account not just the mean level of achievement of the children in a group but, also, the degree of inequality in the distribution of achievements between children in the group. The paper then proceeds to enquire why different children have different levels of educational achievement. The central conclusion is that, after controlling for a number of parental, household and school-related factors, children from all the different social groups, when compared to Brahmin children, were disadvantaged, in some or all of the three competencies of reading, arithmetic, and writing. However, this disadvantage was greatest for Muslim, Dalit, and Adivasi children. These children were disadvantaged with respect to all three competencies and their disadvantage embraced failure as well as success. Using a decomposition analysis, the paper quantifies the “structural advantage” that Brahmin and High Caste children enjoyed over their Dalit and Muslim counterparts.",
    author = "Vani Borooah",
    note = "Reference text: Akerlof, G.A. and Kranton, R.E. (2010), Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Bhalotra, S. and Zamora, B. (2010), {"}Social Divisions in Education in India{"}, in R. Basant and A. Shariff, Handbook of Muslims in India: Empirical and Policy Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 165-198. Borooah, V.K. (2004), “Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease”, Social Science and Medicine vol. 58, pp. 1719-1731. Borooah, V.K. and Iyer, S. (2005), {"}Vidya, Veda, and Varna: The Influence of Religion and Caste on Education in Rural India{"}, Journal of Development Studies , vol. 41, pp. 1369-1404. Borooah, V.K. and Iyer, S. (2005), {"}The Decomposition of inter-group differences in a logit model: extending the Oaxaca-Blinder approach with an application to school enrolment in India{"}, Journal of Social and Economic Measurement, vol. 30, pp. 279-293. Caldwell, J., P. H. Reddy and P. Caldwell (1985), ‘Educational Transition in Rural South India’, Population and Development Review, vol. 11:1, pp. 29-51. Cooper, H. (1989), Homework,White Plains NY: Longman. Desai, S., Vanneman R., and National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi (2009), India Human Development Survey (IHDS), 2005 [Computer file]. ICPSR22626-v5, Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-06-22. doi:10.3886/ICPSR22626. Deolalikar, A.B. (2010), {"}The Performance of Muslims on Social Indicators: A Comparative Perspective{"}, in R. Basant and A. Shariff, Handbook of Muslims in India: Empirical and Policy Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 71-91. Desai, S., Adams, C., and Dubey, A. (2010), “Segmented Schooling: Inequalities in Primary Education”, in S. Thorat and K. S. Newman (edited), Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination in Modern India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 230-252. Eden, C. (2004), {"}Gender and Education{"}, in S. Ward (edited), Education Studies, London: RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 123-133. Fergusson, D.M. and Horwood, L.J. (1997), {"}Gender Differences in Educational Achievement in a New Zealand Birth Cohort{"}, New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 32, pp. 83-96. Glewwe, P. and Jacoby, H. (1995), {"}An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrolment and Childhood Malnutrition{"}, Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 77, pp. 156-169. Guha, R. (2007). “Adivasis, Naxalities, and Indian Democracy”, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. XLII, pp. 3305-3312. Hanushek, E.A., and Woessmann, L. (2008), {"}The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development{"}, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 46, pp. 607-668. Humpherys, L.G. (1988), {"}Trends in Levels of Academic Achievements of Blacks and other Minorities{"}, Intelligence, vol. 12, pp. 231-260. Jacob, V., Kochar, A., and Reddy, s. (2008), School Size and Schooling inequalities, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Working Paper 354, SIEPR: Pao Alto. Keith, T.Z. (1982), {"}Time Spent on Homework and High School Grades: A Large-sample Path Analysis{"}, Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 74, pp. 248-253. Nambissan, G.B. (2010), “Exclusion and Discrimination in Schools”, in S. Throat and K. S. Newman (edited), Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination in Modern India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 253-286. Nielsen, H.S. (1998), “Discrimination and Detailed Decomposition in a Logit Model”, Economics Letters, vol. 61, pp. 115-20. OECD (2001), Knowledge and skills for life: first results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, Paris: OECD. Pyatt, G. (1976), {"}On the Interpretation and Disaggregation of Gini Coefficients{"}, Economic Journal, vol. 86, pp. 243-255. Sen, A.K. (1998), On Economic Inequality, Oxford University Press: Delhi. STATA (2007), Stata Manual release 10, College Station, TX: Stata Press. Stevenson, H.W., Chen, C., and Uttal, D.H. (1990), {"}Beliefs and Achievements: A Study of Black, White, and Hispanic Children{"}, Child Development, vol. 61, pp. 508-523. Trautwein, U., L{\"u}dtke, O., Kastens, C., and K{\"u}ller, O. (2006), {"}Effort on Homework in Grades 5-9: Development, Motivational Antecedents, and the Association with effort on Classwork{"}, Child Development, vol. 77, pp. 1094-1111.",
    year = "2012",
    month = "7",
    doi = "10.1080/00220388.2011.621945",
    language = "English",
    volume = "48",
    pages = "887--903",
    journal = "Journal of Development Studies",
    issn = "0022-0388",
    number = "7",

    }

    Social Identity and Educational Attainment: The Role of Caste and Religion in Explaining Differences between Children in India. / Borooah, Vani.

    In: Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 48, No. 7, 07.2012, p. 887-903.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Social Identity and Educational Attainment: The Role of Caste and Religion in Explaining Differences between Children in India

    AU - Borooah, Vani

    N1 - Reference text: Akerlof, G.A. and Kranton, R.E. (2010), Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Bhalotra, S. and Zamora, B. (2010), "Social Divisions in Education in India", in R. Basant and A. Shariff, Handbook of Muslims in India: Empirical and Policy Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 165-198. Borooah, V.K. (2004), “Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease”, Social Science and Medicine vol. 58, pp. 1719-1731. Borooah, V.K. and Iyer, S. (2005), "Vidya, Veda, and Varna: The Influence of Religion and Caste on Education in Rural India", Journal of Development Studies , vol. 41, pp. 1369-1404. Borooah, V.K. and Iyer, S. (2005), "The Decomposition of inter-group differences in a logit model: extending the Oaxaca-Blinder approach with an application to school enrolment in India", Journal of Social and Economic Measurement, vol. 30, pp. 279-293. Caldwell, J., P. H. Reddy and P. Caldwell (1985), ‘Educational Transition in Rural South India’, Population and Development Review, vol. 11:1, pp. 29-51. Cooper, H. (1989), Homework,White Plains NY: Longman. Desai, S., Vanneman R., and National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi (2009), India Human Development Survey (IHDS), 2005 [Computer file]. ICPSR22626-v5, Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-06-22. doi:10.3886/ICPSR22626. Deolalikar, A.B. (2010), "The Performance of Muslims on Social Indicators: A Comparative Perspective", in R. Basant and A. Shariff, Handbook of Muslims in India: Empirical and Policy Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 71-91. Desai, S., Adams, C., and Dubey, A. (2010), “Segmented Schooling: Inequalities in Primary Education”, in S. Thorat and K. S. Newman (edited), Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination in Modern India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 230-252. Eden, C. (2004), "Gender and Education", in S. Ward (edited), Education Studies, London: RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 123-133. Fergusson, D.M. and Horwood, L.J. (1997), "Gender Differences in Educational Achievement in a New Zealand Birth Cohort", New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 32, pp. 83-96. Glewwe, P. and Jacoby, H. (1995), "An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrolment and Childhood Malnutrition", Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 77, pp. 156-169. Guha, R. (2007). “Adivasis, Naxalities, and Indian Democracy”, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. XLII, pp. 3305-3312. Hanushek, E.A., and Woessmann, L. (2008), "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development", Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 46, pp. 607-668. Humpherys, L.G. (1988), "Trends in Levels of Academic Achievements of Blacks and other Minorities", Intelligence, vol. 12, pp. 231-260. Jacob, V., Kochar, A., and Reddy, s. (2008), School Size and Schooling inequalities, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Working Paper 354, SIEPR: Pao Alto. Keith, T.Z. (1982), "Time Spent on Homework and High School Grades: A Large-sample Path Analysis", Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 74, pp. 248-253. Nambissan, G.B. (2010), “Exclusion and Discrimination in Schools”, in S. Throat and K. S. Newman (edited), Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination in Modern India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 253-286. Nielsen, H.S. (1998), “Discrimination and Detailed Decomposition in a Logit Model”, Economics Letters, vol. 61, pp. 115-20. OECD (2001), Knowledge and skills for life: first results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, Paris: OECD. Pyatt, G. (1976), "On the Interpretation and Disaggregation of Gini Coefficients", Economic Journal, vol. 86, pp. 243-255. Sen, A.K. (1998), On Economic Inequality, Oxford University Press: Delhi. STATA (2007), Stata Manual release 10, College Station, TX: Stata Press. Stevenson, H.W., Chen, C., and Uttal, D.H. (1990), "Beliefs and Achievements: A Study of Black, White, and Hispanic Children", Child Development, vol. 61, pp. 508-523. Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Kastens, C., and Küller, O. (2006), "Effort on Homework in Grades 5-9: Development, Motivational Antecedents, and the Association with effort on Classwork", Child Development, vol. 77, pp. 1094-1111.

    PY - 2012/7

    Y1 - 2012/7

    N2 - The aim of this paper is to gauge the size of the educational gap between children, aged 8-11 years, belonging to the different social groups in India. It is well established that educational attainments vary considerably between India's caste and religious groups with Muslims, Dalits (the Scheduled Castes), Adivasis (the Scheduled Tribes), and the ‘Other Backward Classes’ (the OBC) being the most backward. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey of 2005 - which tested over 12,300 children, aged 8-11, for their ability to read, write, and do arithmetic at different levels of competence - this study examines inequalities within social groups in the test scores of children to argue that inter-group comparisons of educational attainment should take into account not just the mean level of achievement of the children in a group but, also, the degree of inequality in the distribution of achievements between children in the group. The paper then proceeds to enquire why different children have different levels of educational achievement. The central conclusion is that, after controlling for a number of parental, household and school-related factors, children from all the different social groups, when compared to Brahmin children, were disadvantaged, in some or all of the three competencies of reading, arithmetic, and writing. However, this disadvantage was greatest for Muslim, Dalit, and Adivasi children. These children were disadvantaged with respect to all three competencies and their disadvantage embraced failure as well as success. Using a decomposition analysis, the paper quantifies the “structural advantage” that Brahmin and High Caste children enjoyed over their Dalit and Muslim counterparts.

    AB - The aim of this paper is to gauge the size of the educational gap between children, aged 8-11 years, belonging to the different social groups in India. It is well established that educational attainments vary considerably between India's caste and religious groups with Muslims, Dalits (the Scheduled Castes), Adivasis (the Scheduled Tribes), and the ‘Other Backward Classes’ (the OBC) being the most backward. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey of 2005 - which tested over 12,300 children, aged 8-11, for their ability to read, write, and do arithmetic at different levels of competence - this study examines inequalities within social groups in the test scores of children to argue that inter-group comparisons of educational attainment should take into account not just the mean level of achievement of the children in a group but, also, the degree of inequality in the distribution of achievements between children in the group. The paper then proceeds to enquire why different children have different levels of educational achievement. The central conclusion is that, after controlling for a number of parental, household and school-related factors, children from all the different social groups, when compared to Brahmin children, were disadvantaged, in some or all of the three competencies of reading, arithmetic, and writing. However, this disadvantage was greatest for Muslim, Dalit, and Adivasi children. These children were disadvantaged with respect to all three competencies and their disadvantage embraced failure as well as success. Using a decomposition analysis, the paper quantifies the “structural advantage” that Brahmin and High Caste children enjoyed over their Dalit and Muslim counterparts.

    U2 - 10.1080/00220388.2011.621945

    DO - 10.1080/00220388.2011.621945

    M3 - Article

    VL - 48

    SP - 887

    EP - 903

    JO - Journal of Development Studies

    T2 - Journal of Development Studies

    JF - Journal of Development Studies

    SN - 0022-0388

    IS - 7

    ER -