Childlessness in India

Thomas Baudin, IESEG Business School
Koyel Sarkar, Université catholique de Louvain

India will be the most populated country in the world by 2022 as projected. Maybe as a result, demographers have left the question of Indian childlessness mainly unanswered. Using micro-level regressions, we show that the probability for a woman to end her reproductive life without children exhibits a U-shaped relationship with her educational attainment. This is indicative of the fact that poverty and sterility are not the unique determinants of childlessness, better economic opportunities and empowerment among couples also matter. We show that this result is robust to the introduction of important control variables such as the level of development of the state where women are living in, education of the husband, age at marriage, religion and caste. India seems to enter the long list of countries where adjustments of childlessness are much more than simple responses to poverty boom and bust.

Presented in Poster Session 3