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China–IndiaPathways of Economic and Social Development$
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Delia Davin and Barbara Harriss-White

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265673

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265673.001.0001

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The Social Consequences of Demographic Change in India

The Social Consequences of Demographic Change in India

(p.115) 6 The Social Consequences of Demographic Change in India

Patricia Jeffery

British Academy

Since the mid-1960s, India has experienced several notable shifts in its population dynamics that will have social implications for decades to come. This paper first sketches some of the central parameters of a complex picture that is characterised by regional and intra-regional contrasts. The main body of the paper considers the likely impact of these demographic processes by addressing the following themes: whether India is likely to benefit from the ‘demographic dividend’ derived from declining fertility; whether declining fertility combined with sex selective abortion might result in a ‘marriage squeeze’ that disadvantages young men and results in a decline in the significance of dowry payments; whether low fertility will impact positively on gender politics (including women’s access to employment and their position within their marital homes); and the implications of an increasingly ageing population for the intergenerational contract.

Keywords:   India, demographic change, demographic dividend, marriage squeeze, dowry, gender politics, population ageing, intergenerational contract

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