Studies, Reviews and Research

Women’s Political Reservation, Early Childhood Development and Learning in India. Young Lives Working Paper No. 110

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ODID, Oxford Department of International Development,Young Lives

This paper analyzes the long-term impacts of reservation of local political seats for women on children’s learning outcomes in rural Andhra Pradesh, India. Using the random rotation of seats reserved for women over different election cycles, and three rounds of a panel dataset, Young Lives analyzes the impact of exposure to political reservation during critical periods of childhood. The paper shows that the reservation policy for female leaders had the largest impact on learning outcomes of primary school children when they were exposed to reservation very early in life. These results can be explained by improved health and nutrition in utero and during the first years of life.These results are suggestive of the impact women leaders have on child well-being in the long term.


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