Gender and Education

Andrabi, T., Das, J., &Khwaja, A. I. (2012). What Did You Do All Day? Maternal Education and Child Outcomes. Journal of Human Resources47(4), 873-912.

The authors in this paper investigate the role of maternal education on learning outcomes for children. This paper contributes to our understanding of such intergenerational links—an important part of the social returns to education. Instrumental variable (IV) estimates show significant impacts of some maternal education on time use and test scores. Children of mothers with some education (relative to those with uneducated mothers) spend more time on educational activities outside school hours. The effect is large—an extra 72 minutes per day—and closely aligned with results from the literature. However, the authors negate the usual channels of these effects such as increased bargaining power due to maternal education or increase spending on child-specific goods. They demonstrate that it is due to the nurturing environment created when educated mothers spend more time with their children on school work. Thus, test scores are significantly higher for children whose mothers have some education. The authors demonstrate that links between maternal education and child enrollment may be weaker than is commonly assumed. Instead, there exists a strong link between child learningand maternal education. This is of direct interest for policy since recent experiments have shown that government policy can increase enrollment while methods of improving learning remain tenuous.

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Aslam, M. (2009). The relative effectiveness of government and private schools in Pakistan: are girls worse off? Education Economics17(3), 329-354.

Within the context of the school quality debate, this paper expands the findings in literature of large and statistically significant pro-male bias in Pakistan. Moreover, based on the mushrooming private sector, the paper also looks at the question of whether there is a private school advantage and, if so, why it exists. This study is unique because it looks at the relative effectiveness of government and private schools at the middle-level unlike previous studies, which have concentrated on the primary level. Evidence from nationally representative household survey data shows that girls do have substantially and significantly poorer access to private schools than do boys. Additionally, private schools are indeed of better quality. Thus, evidence suggests that girls do lose out vis a visboys in terms not only of lower educational expenditures but also in terms of the quality of schooling accessed, at least in the district of Lahore. However, it is important to note that the analysis of pupil achievement in this study does not control for school inputs and cost information. This means that while it can be argued that there is a significant private school achievement advantage, it cannot be underpinned whether this is because of differences in school resources and inputs or even in the differential use of these inputs in the two school types.

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Lloyd, C. B., Mete, C., &Sathar, Z. A. (2005). The effect of gender differences in primary school access, type, and quality on the decision to enroll in rural Pakistan.Economic Development and Cultural Change53(3), 685-710.

The authors investigate the effect of different factors on the decision to enroll boys and girls in schools, separately. They demonstrate that household characteristics, community characteristics and quality of schools have different impact on the enrollment of girls and boys. Thus, policy interventions that seek to increase primary school enrollment rates could potentially be more effective if vulnerable children (both at the household and community levels) are targeted via easy-to-measure indicators. The impact of parental characteristics on enrollment, for example, varies significantly by sex: a girl is much less likely to enroll in school if her mother is not schooled or if her father’s occupation is agricultural. Moreover, the findings of this study confirm the results of earlier research that girls’ enrollment in rural Pakistan is highly responsive to the presence of an all girls public school inside the village. But it is not only the presence of the school that matters; parents care about quality, at least certain elements of quality that are meaningful to them. However, the findings of this paper suggest little evidence that private school availability increases overall enrollment in rural areas where a public school is already present. Instead, it appears that private schooling provides a preferred alternative to public schooling for some parents.

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