Demand or supply for schooling in rural India?

Sripad Motiram

Schooling, human capital accumulation, rural India

Is the poor human capital investment of rural Indian families primarily a supply side or a demand side issue? Can time use data help analyze some of the hidden dimensions of development? We examine school attendance and total human capital investment time (time in school plus travel time plus in-home instructional time) using the Indian Time Use Survey of 1998-1999 and the 7th All India School Education Survey (AISES). Probit and sample selection bias regression estimates indicate that the influence of supply side factors (school quality and availability) is large relative to the impact of household characteristics (e.g. low income). We discuss the policy implications and illustrate the advantages of time use data in analysis of development.