Gender Bias in Education: The Role of Inter-Household Externality, Dowry and Other Social Institutions

16 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2007

See all articles by Sajal Lahiri

Sajal Lahiri

Southern Illinois University Carbondale - Department of Economics

Sharmistha Self

College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John's University (SJU) - Department of Economics

Abstract

We analyze gender bias in school enrollment by developing a two-period model where women become part of extended families of their in-laws. Each family decides how many sons and daughters are sent to school and thus become skilled. Gender bias occurs due to failure of the families to internalize inter-household externalities. "Groom-specific" dowry worsens the situation. Under "bride-specific" dowry, bias exists if and only if the skill premium in the labor market is bigger than that in the marriage market. A specific discriminatory "food-for-education" policy is shown to reduce bias, but increase total enrollment.

Suggested Citation

Lahiri, Sajal and Self, Sharmistha, Gender Bias in Education: The Role of Inter-Household Externality, Dowry and Other Social Institutions. Review of Development Economics, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 591-606, November 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1023230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9361.2007.00387.x

Sajal Lahiri (Contact Author)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale - Department of Economics ( email )

MC 415
1000 Faner Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States

Sharmistha Self

College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John's University (SJU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Collegeville, MN 56321
United States

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