Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Jane Ruseski

Committee Member

Daniel Grossman

Committee Member

Brad Humphreys

Committee Member

Heather Stephens


Some common economic problems of the Indian subcontinent are its low per-capita income, major dependence on agriculture, heavy population pressure, chronic unemployment, slow capital formation, limited opportunity for human capital development, rising pollution, and heavy inequality in the wealth distribution. Each of these problems affects its children in its unique way, both directly and indirectly. However, some problems are human-made which directly affect its own existence. I focus on two countries in the Indian subcontinent: India and Pakistan, where such problems exist. In both societies, female children are valued less than male children, a common theme across many other countries in South-East Asia. Also, in both these countries, the rural-urban education gap is large, due to a lack of economic progress in rural areas. The Government of India has come forward to improve the lives of children, in general. Pakistan, on top of sharing these common issues, has been recently affected by the intentional mass destruction of public properties and human lives by terrorist entities that aim to overthrow public peace. My objective is to understand how these contemporary events have changed the picture of the two countries. I find female births increase by 0.9 - 1.7 percentage points at birth order one or two and secondary school completion rate for rural female children has increased substantially in India. Finally, 5-19 more children out of 1000 are shorter and 8-12 more children are found to be skinnier following the terrorist attacks in Pakistan, which disrupted public life in various ways.