Analyzing the Gender Gap: The Household Determinants of the Gender Bias in Nutritional Outcomes for Children in India
This paper examines the inter-household gender bias in nutritional outcomes for children in India. Previous studies look at similar relationships and find there to be a multitude of cultural and social factors that influence gender bias within the household. Using data from the National Family Health Survey (NHFS) 2005- 2006, the analysis employs a household fixed effects model. This method limits the sample to households with only two children, one son and one daughter, from both rural and urban areas, separating it from previous research. There were found to be differences in the household determinants based on whether the household was located in an urban or rural area. Additionally, the results show a statistically significant effect of improving the gender bias for rural households located nearby an Anganwadi center. For urban households, mother's body mass index is a statistically significant indicator for a decreased gender bias. When further analyzing only those households with disadvantaged girls, access to media also became a statistically significant influence on improving the gender bias. These results suggest village development, as measured by the existence of an Anganwadi center, and the strengthening of maternal health programs could deeply benefit girls' nutrition levels within the household. Additionally, social messages through media could further improve this gender bias.
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