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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1517015
 
 

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What Did You Do All Day? Maternal Education and Child Outcomes


Tahir Andrabi


Pomona College - Department of Economics

Jishnu Das


World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Asim Ijaz Khwaja


Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

November 1, 2009

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5143

Abstract:     
Female education levels are very low in many developing countries. Does maternal education have a causal impact on children's educational outcomes even at these very low levels of education? By combining a nationwide census of schools in Pakistan with household data, the authors use the availability of girls' schools in the mother's birth village as an instrument for maternal schooling to address this issue. Since public schools in Pakistan are segregated by gender, the instrument affects only maternal education rather than the education levels of both mothers and fathers. The analysis finds that children of mothers with some education spend 75 minutes more on educational activities at home compared with children whose mothers report no education at all. Mothers with some education also spend more time helping their children with school work; the effect is stronger (an extra 40 minutes per day) in families where the mother is likely the primary care-giver. Finally, test scores for children whose mothers have some education are higher in English, Urdu (the vernacular), and mathematics by 0.24-0.35 standard deviations. There is no relationship between maternal education and mother's time spent on paid work or housework - a posited channel through which education affects bargaining power within the household. And there is no relationship between maternal education and the mother's role in educational decisions or in the provision of other child-specific goods, such as expenditures on pocket money, uniforms, and tuition. The data therefore suggest that at these very low levels of education, maternal education does not substantially affect a mother's bargaining power within the household. Instead, maternal education could directly increase the mother's productivity or affect her preferences toward children's education in a context where her bargaining power is low.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Education For All, Primary Education, Access & Equity in Basic Education, Early Childhood Development, Youth and Governance

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Date posted: December 8, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Andrabi, Tahir and Das, Jishnu and Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, What Did You Do All Day? Maternal Education and Child Outcomes (November 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1517015

Contact Information

Tahir Andrabi (Contact Author)
Pomona College - Department of Economics ( email )
Claremont, CA 91711
United States
909-607-2513 (Phone)
909-621-8576 (Fax)
Jishnu Das
World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG) ( email )
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/jdas
World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)
1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
Asim Ijaz Khwaja
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7790 (Phone)
617-496-5960 (Fax)
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