This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood. We find steep caste and gender gradients and few substantive changes once children enter school. The gender gap, however, reverses its sign for the upper caste, with girls performing better than boys at age 5 but thereafter following the general pattern in India of boys performing better.
- We analyse unique Indian longitudinal data of early cognitive development.
- We find steep caste and gender gradients in cognitive development.
- There is strong evidence of a reversal of gender gaps for the upper caste.
- Upper caste girls perform better than boys at age 5 but they do worse afterwards.
- This indicates that differential investments occur before enrollment decisions.
Keywords:Cognitive skills; India; Gender; Caste inequality; Children; Oaxaca
Article written using Young Lives data from the UK Data Archive by researchers from the International American Development Bank and Research Division, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, USA.
Florencia Lopez Boo and Maria Eugenia Canon (2014) 'Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India ' Economics Letters 124.1: 55–59
The full version of the article is available on the journal website.