Illusion of Gender Parity in Education: Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Bangladesh

SMU Economics & Statistics Working Paper No. 09-2019

70 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2019

See all articles by Sijia Xu

Sijia Xu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abu Shonchoy

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics

Tomoki Fujii

Singapore Management University - School of Economics

Date Written: April 26, 2019

Abstract

A target in the Millennium Development Goals — gender parity in all levels of education — is widely considered to have been attained. However, measuring gender parity only through school enrollment is misleading, as girls may lag behind boys in other educational measures. We investigate this with four rounds of surveys from Bangladesh by decomposing households’ education decisions into enrollment, education expenditure, and share of the education expenditure allocated for the quality of education like private tutoring. We find a strong profemale bias in school enrollment but promale bias in the other two decisions. This contradirectional gender bias is unique to Bangladesh and partly explained by the presence of conditional cash transfer programs. Although these programs promoted girls’ enrollment in secondary schools, they were largely ineffective in narrowing the gender gaps in academic performance and intrahousehold allocation of education resources. Gender parity in education cannot be truly achieved without addressing these gaps.

Keywords: Female Stipend Programs, education, conditional cash transfer, private tutoring, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: D15, I28, J16, O15

Suggested Citation

Xu, Sijia and Shonchoy, Abu and Fujii, Tomoki, Illusion of Gender Parity in Education: Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Bangladesh (April 26, 2019). SMU Economics & Statistics Working Paper No. 09-2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3386159 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3386159

Sijia Xu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abu Shonchoy

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics ( email )

11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 3199
United States

Tomoki Fujii (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Economics ( email )

90 Stamford Road
178903
Singapore
+6568280279 (Phone)
+6568280833 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mysmu.edu/faculty/tfujii/

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