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Seminar by Dr. Thiagu Ranganathan: 5 Feb, 2020

Relative Educational Status and Women’s Autonomy: Evidence from India
A seminar on ‘Relative Educational Status and Women’s Autonomy: Evidence from India,’ was held at the Joan Robinson Hall on February 5, 2020. The seminar was presented by Dr. Thiagu Ranganathan, Associate Professor, CDS. The seminar was chaired by Professor Praveena Kodoth, CDS.

Abstract:  This paper analyses the relation between women’s educational status relative to their spouse and their autonomy in India. Using the large-scale nationally representative Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) conducted in 2011-12, we find that around 20% of the women in the marriages have education more than their spouses. In particular, among all those who were married in the five years before the survey, 31% of women in rural India and 37% women in urban India were educated more than their spouses. Women with more education than their spouses are younger, with fewer children, married at an older age, had known their husbands before marriage longer, and earn a higher share of the household incomes as compared to those with equal or lesser education than the spouses. We find that relative spousal education, defined as the difference between woman’s education and her spouse’s education is positively related to decision making autonomy, economic and social autonomy, and physical mobility but it is negatively associated to emotional autonomy.