Where are the missing boys?

Economics in action

Rema Devi and I have visited a set of schools and villages in the Samastipur district of Bihar very recently. There are interesting developments in education there.

First, there is a significant increase in the readiness to admit children in schools. Hence the enrolment has gone up substantially. This may be due to the limited improvement in, and investments for, human development that are happening in Bihar during the last 1-2 decades. These could be facilitated by the political mobilization of non-elites and the emergence of a competitive democracy there. Though some of the people who became literates through the Total Literacy Campaign might have relapsed to illiteracy (an issue that is noted here), there could be a substantial increase in the demand for schooling as an outcome of the campaign. That too may be reflecting in Bihar.

Currently, there are no major issues that work against sending girls…

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