The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) of India requires one-third of the beneficiaries to be women, and equal wages to be paid to female and male participants. We study its impact on children’s educational attainment via women’s increased access to labour-market opportunities. Using child-level panel data, and taking advantage of the temporal, sub-district-level variation in the intensity of implementation of the NREGS, we find that a rise in the mother’s share of parental NREGS workdays increases the school attendance and grade attainment of her children, particularly girls. This impact is over and above any income effect induced by the scheme.
Farzana Afridi; Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay; Sahoo, S. Young Lives Working Paper 95. Female Labour-Force Participation and Child Education in India: The Effect of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Young Lives, Department of International Development at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2013) 36 pp. ISBN 978-1-909403-08-6