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Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy

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  • Mark M. Pitt
  • Mark R. Rosenzweig
  • Mohammad Nazmul Hassan

Abstract

A model of human capital investment and activity choice is used to explain facts describing gender differentials in the levels and returns to human capital investments and occupational choice. These include the higher return to and level of schooling, the small effect of healthiness on wages, and the large effect of healthiness on schooling for females relative to males. The model incorporates gender differences in the level and responsiveness of brawn to nutrition in a Roy-economy setting in which activities reward skill and brawn differentially. Evidence from rural Bangladesh provides support for the model and the importance of the distribution of brawn.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 (December)
Pages: 3531-60

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:7:p:3531-60

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.7.3531
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  1. Christopher Dougherty, 2005. "Why Are the Returns to Schooling Higher for Women than for Men?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 969-988.
  2. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus Brawn: The Realization of Women's Comparative Advantage," 2010 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
  4. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
  5. Khandker, Shahidur & Pitt, Mark & Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2003. "Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 23688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  7. Gersovitz, Mark, 1983. "Savings and Nutrition at Low Incomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 841-55, October.
  8. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
  9. Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal & Andrew Pickles, 2003. "Maximum likelihood estimation of generalized linear models with covariate measurement error," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(4), pages 386-411, December.
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