Child Population and Female Literacy

Examines the negative relationship between female literacy and population growth in two Indian states.

This paper studies the effect of female literacy on population growth. Using the 2SLS model, this paper establishes a negative relationship between the two. A comparative analysis of the two states of India, Bihar and Kerala, reveals the same trend. However, the paper brings out the subtle differences in the social ethos of these states. The paper distinctly establishes the dominant role of female literacy in population control and recommends suitable priorities to public policy planners

Table of Contents:
Literature Review
Population Theories and Economic Growth
Human Capital and Endogenous Growth Models
Which Factors Influence Population Growth
The Dominant Factor Debate
The Religious Factor Debate
The “Traditional” Factor Debate
Data and Methodology
District Level Macro Analysis Methodology
Block Level Micro Analysis Methodology
The District Level Macro Findings
Analysis by Each Variable
Block Level Micro Findings
The Spatial Analysis and the “Patna Puzzle”
Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
End Notes
“The past decade (1991-2001) has been a watershed for India in more ways than one. While this decade saw the boldest economic reforms in India’s history making it possible to emerge from the Hindu Rate of Growth, the decade also witnessed the sharpest decline in population growth (2.52% points, See Chart 1) coupled with the sharpest increase in female literacy (14.87% points) since Independence. A somewhat similar feat was achieved by the Indian State of Bihar for the period 1991-1997 where it registered a high literacy growth with the sharpest expected decadal decline in population growth (1.68% points) . Unfortunately, after 1997, unprecedented political instability led to the State slipping on these indices so much so that it finally registered a dismal performance on both the fronts of female literacy (lowest in the country) and population growth ( 2.8%, which is higher than the national average of 2.1%) for the entire decade (1991-2001) taken as a whole. An exceedingly good performance in this area (both at the national level and the State level) has prompted me to explore whether literacy (particularly female literacy) carries a more direct bearing on population control than other methods such as mass media campaigns, family planning, and sterilization.”

Written By wed

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