Is TV good for Indian women?

Here’s from Robert Jensen and Emily Oster:

Cable and satellite television have grown rapidly throughout the
developing world. The availability of cable and satellite television
exposes viewers to new information about the outside world, which may
affect individual attitudes and behaviors. This paper explores the
effect of the introduction of cable television on gender attitudes in
rural India. Using a three-year individual-level panel dataset, we find
that the introduction of cable television is associated with
improvements in women’s status. We find significant increases in
reported autonomy, decreases in the reported acceptability of beating
and decreases in reported son preference. We also find increases in
female school enrollment and decreases in fertility (primarily via
increased birth spacing). The effects are large, equivalent in some
cases to about five years of education in the cross section, and move
gender attitudes of individuals in rural areas much closer to those in
urban areas. We argue that the results are not driven by pre-existing
differential trends. These results have important policy implications,
as India and other countries attempt to decrease bias against women.

Here is the paper, here is a non-gated version.  The pointer is from David Zetland.

Comments

if true , this could be one of the most important papers of the decade. i live in india and it's really hard to say. gtg and read the paper now.

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Title reminds me of Dogbert's foray into being a tech columnist:

"Is the RISC processor appropriate for senior citizens? HELLO?!?"

fuster: what?

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Person: joking.

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Peter.W,
Thank you for your Chinese?/Japanese?
I understood a lot from your posting.

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The television has always played a big role in human development. Maybe the TV would affect the rural areas of India, but I guess that many years will pass before we can see an Indian women with a botox philadelphia intervention or with make-up. Maybe the TV will affect only their inner behavior, preserving the traditional habits.

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