Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women

51 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2014

See all articles by Rachel Heath

Rachel Heath

University of Washington

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

Yale School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

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Abstract

We study the effects of explosive growth in the Bangladeshi ready-made garments industry on the lives on Bangladeshi women. We compare the marriage, childbearing, school enrollment and employment decisions of women who gain greater access to garment sector jobs to women living further away from factories, to years before the factories arrive close to some villages, and to the marriage and enrollment decisions of their male siblings. Girls exposed to the garment sector delay marriage and childbirth. This stems from (a) young girls becoming more likely to be enrolled in school after garment jobs (which reward literacy and numeracy) arrive, and (b) older girls becoming more likely to be employed outside the home in garment-proximate villages. The demand for education generated through manufacturing growth appears to have a much larger effect on female educational attainment compared to a large-scale government conditional cash transfer program to encourage female schooling.

Keywords: ready-made garment exports, Bangladesh, marriage, fertility, schooling

JEL Classification: O12, F16, I25, J23

Suggested Citation

Heath, Rachel and Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8483. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2505345

Rachel Heath (Contact Author)

University of Washington ( email )

Box 353330
Seattle, WA 98195-3330
United States

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-5787 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mba.yale.edu/faculty/profiles/mobarak.shtml

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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