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

Udaya Shankar MishraSubscribe to Udaya Shankar Mishra

Household Assets and Wealth Quintiles, India 2006–16

The potential of National Family Health Survey wealth index to contribute to the discourse on poverty and inequality in India is presented. Between 2005–06 and 2015–16, there have been improvements in ownership and access to fairly basic household assets and amenities, yet, much needs to be accomplished in the provisioning of pucca houses, clean cooking fuel, improved toilet facilities as well as access to the digital world through computers and the internet. Inter-household inequalities in asset ownership have declined, but there are large intergroup inequalities with particularly disadvantaged asset ownership profiles for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Muslim households. Interstate inequalities in asset ownership, however, have increased. The increased concentration of asset poor is found in Bihar, whereas Punjab and Haryana experience increased share of richest households. Overall, based on robustness checks, the NFHS wealth index is an important proxy of socio-economic status and offers considerable scope for timely and systematic analysis of economic inequalities.

Secluded and Proximate Illiterates among Couples

This paper uses NFHS-2 (1998-99) data to explore certain linkages between literacy status of a couple (husband and wife) with outcomes like household standard of living index (SLI) and others having implications on women and child health. An attempt has also been made to link the proximate criterion in literacy in the couple domain with outcome variables such as SLI, instances of sickness among women from specific diseases as asthma, TB, malaria and jaundice; linkages with indicators like under-nutrition in women have also been analysed. The exercise affirms the advantage of proximate illiteracy over the secluded illiterate in terms of outcome measures of women and child health as well as household SLI. On the other hand, while patterns are not distinct in terms of a comparison between proximate female illiterate and proximate male literate, indications point to the latter doing comparatively better.
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