ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gender Inequality in Well-being in India

Estimates from NFHS Household-level Data

This article proposes to measure functioning-based well-being, as proposed by Amartya Sen and others, for 28 states in India based on National Family Health Survey 3 (2005-06) data. Significant differences between states were found in terms of well-being and wealth indices. Overall, women were found to be far behind men in terms of well-being. The well-being of women was found to decline with age and when they were in larger families, unlike men. While upper-caste women were not found to be doing significantly better than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women, upper-caste men were better off. And the women in the northern mountainous regions were found to be doing better than women in the Indo-Gangetic plains. However, the well-being of both men and women was found to be significantly related to the wealth they possessed.

An earlier draft of the paper was presented in the 33rd General Conference of International Association for Research in Income and Wealth at Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 24–30 August 2014. The author is thankful to the participants of the conference for their comments and constructive suggestions, and would also like to thank the anonymous referee for the evaluation of the paper and for the constructive comments.

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