Household Schooling Decisions in Rural Pakistan

31 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Yasuyuki Sawada

Yasuyuki Sawada

University of Tokyo - Faculty of Economics

Michael Lokshin

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: November 1999


An analysis of a field survey to investigate household decisions about schooling in rural Pakistan suggests that hiring more female teachers and providing more primary schools for girls closer to villages will improve the chances of rural Pakistani girls entering school and staying enrolled.

Human capital investments in Pakistan are performing poorly: school enrollment is low, the high school dropout rate is high, and there is a definite gender gap in education. Sawada and Lokshin conducted field surveys in 25 Pakistani villages and integrated their field observations, economic theory, and econometric analysis to investigate the sequential nature of education decisions - because current outcomes depend not only on current decisions but also on past decisions.

Their full-information maximum likelihood estimate of the sequential schooling decision model reveals important dynamics affecting the gender gap in education, the effects of transitory income and wealth, and intrahousehold resource allocation patterns. They find, among other things, that in rural Pakistan: - There is a high educational retention rate, conditional on school entry, and that male and female schooling progression rates become comparable at higher levels of education. - A household's human and physical assets and changes in its income significantly affect children's education patterns. Birth order affects siblings' competition for resources. - Serious supply-side constraints on village girls' primary education suggest the importance of supply-side policy interventions in Pakistan's rural primary education - for example, providing more girls' primary schools close to villages and employing more female teachers.

This paper - a product of Poverty and Human Resources, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to study the role of gender in the context of the household, institutions, and society. The authors may be contacted at or

Suggested Citation

Sawada, Yasuyuki and Lokshin, Michael, Household Schooling Decisions in Rural Pakistan (November 1999). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2541. Available at SSRN:

Yasuyuki Sawada

University of Tokyo - Faculty of Economics ( email )

7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-0033

Michael Lokshin (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-1772 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)


National Research University Higher School of Economics

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics