Sending a Child to College in India: The Influence of Social Capital

Reeve Vanneman, University of Maryland

Tyler Myroniuk, Sonalde Desai, and Reeve Vanneman; Maryland Population Research Center. In recent years, Indian higher education has faced rapidly rising educational demand but limited expansion. This excess demand has created tremendous uncertainty for students, a situation which socially well-connected families may be better able to negotiate. We use the 2004-2005 and 2011-2012 waves of the nationally representative India Human Development Survey (IHDS) to examine how social networks can advantage some families in gaining entry to college for their children. The IHDS-I survey measured a household’s contacts in the government, medical institutions, and education as well as measures of household resources and educational enrolments of their children. We predict college entry in the second wave, seven years later, controlling for the households’ economic standing and educational background in the first wave. We find that households with a diverse range of social contacts have better chances of sending a child to college seven years later.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households