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Featuring Arindam Nandi
Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy
Paper Abstract: Despite strong recent economic growth, gender inequality remains a major concern for India. Nandi’s paper examines the effectiveness of a public policy geared towards the reduction of gender inequality. The national Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PNDT) Act of 1994, implemented in 1996, banned sex-selective abortions in the Indian states. Although demographers frequently mention the futility of the Act, this paper is among the first to evaluate the law using a treatment-effect type analysis of the pre-ban and post-ban periods. Using village-level and town-level longitudinal data from the 1991 and 2001 censuses, along with household survey data from other sources, Nandi finds a significantly positive impact of the PNDT Act on the female-to-male juvenile sex ratio. In the possible absence of the PNDT Act, Nandi finds that the juvenile sex ratio would have declined by another 16-20 points.
How are beliefs about gender differences formed, and how do they affect children’s aspirations and academic performance? In this talk, Alex Eble will discuss recent work (co-authored with Feng Hu of the University of Science and Technology Beijing) on perceived gender gaps in mathematics in Chinese middle schools.
In a recent paper, Kate Ambler and coauthors studied the impact of one-season cash transfers for agricultural investment in Senegal and Malawi, using data from a randomized control trial (RCT) in each country. They found evidence that transfers reduced both the number of decision makers and female decision making in Senegal in the short-run, particularly for measures directly related to agriculture. However, the effects disappeared two years after the transfers. Conversely, the authors find transfers in the Malawi program led to robust transitory increases in these measures, seeing a greater impact related to the number of decision makers in the household persisting after two year period. Join us for the latest CGD Invited Research Forum to discuss these opposing findings on the effects of cash transfers on household decision making.