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Who Gets Primary Schooling in Pakistan: Inequalities among and within Families

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Author Info

  • Zeba A. Sathar

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Cynthia B. Lloyd

    (The Population Council, New York.)

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    Abstract

    The chances of Pakistani children's entering school and completing the primary level are extremely low even in comparison with the relatively poor situation in other South Asian countries. This paper uses the 1991 Pakistan Integrated Household Survey to explore some of the determinants of parents' decisions about their children's schooling, giving particular attention to factors at the household and community levels. The results indicate that inequalities across households provide a major explanation for variations among children in primary schooling levels. Even the basic decisions relating to children's entry into school and completion of the primary level are largely determined by parents' education, particularly that of mothers, and household income. Primary school is not compulsory and even attendance at public school requires substantial monetary outlays. With only a small percentage of school-age children in Pakistan having mothers with any education or parents with sufficient income, the cycle of poverty and unequal opportunity is perpetuated. The accessibility of "appropriate" single-sex schools and the availability of quality schools are important additional factors in children's schooling outcomes, particularly for girls in the rural areas. The findings also portray inequalities among children within the same household. The most striking of these are differences between boys and girls. Also larger numbers of siblings reduce the probability of primary school completion for children in the urban areas and significantly reduce average educational expenditures, suggesting an emerging quality-quantity trade-off between fertility and education. The paper concludes by recommending a substantially increased government commitment to primary education, with particular emphasis on the needs of girls. Expected gains would include greater gender equality, a substantial improvement in human development, and, possibly, a decline in fertility.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 33 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 103-134

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    Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:33:y:1994:i:2:p:103-134

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Mohammad, Irfan, 1985. "Poverty and household demographic behaviour in Pakistan - insights from PLM survey 1979," MPRA Paper 39644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Nadeem A. Burney & Mohammad Irfan, 1991. "Parental Characteristics, Supply of Schools, and Child School-enrolment in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 21-62.
    3. George Psacharopoulos, 1985. "Returns to Education: A Further International Update and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 583-604.
    4. Chernichovsky, Dov, 1985. "Socioeconomic and Demographic Aspects of School Enrollment and Attendance in Rural Botswana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 319-32, January.
    5. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
    6. Shahrukh Rafi Khan & Rehana Siddiqui & Fazal Hussain, 1986. "An Analysis of School Level Drop-Out Rates and Output in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 1986:149, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    7. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Returns To Women'S Education," Papers 603, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Shahnaz Hamid & Rehana Siddiqui, 2001. "Gender Differences in Demand for Schooling," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 1077-1092.
    2. Debasis Bandyopadhyay & Xueli Tang, 2011. "Parental nurturing and adverse effects of redistribution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 71-98, March.
    3. G. M. Arif & Najam Us Saqib, 2003. "Production of Cognitive and Life Skills in Public, Private, and NGO Schools in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 1-28.
    4. Cristina Cattaneo, 2012. "Migrants’ international transfers and educational expenditure," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 20(1), pages 163-193, 01.
    5. Behrman, Jere R. & Ross, David & Sabot, Richard, 2008. "Improving quality versus increasing the quantity of schooling: Estimates of rates of return from rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 94-104, February.
    6. Alderman, Harold & Behrman, Jere R. & Khan, Shahrukh & Ross, David R. & Sabot, Richard, 1996. "Decomposing the regional gap in cognitive skills in rural Pakistan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 49-76.
    7. Husain, Zakir & Dutta, Mousumi & Saha, Manashi, 2011. "Gender disparities in primary education across siblings: is intra household disparity higher in regions with low child sex ratios?," MPRA Paper 30791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. World Bank, 2005. "Pakistan : Country Gender Assessment, Bridging the Gender Gap, Opportunities and Challenges," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8453, The World Bank.
    9. G. M. Arif & Najam US Saqib & G. M. Zahid, 1999. "Poverty, Gender, and Primary School Enrolment in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 979-992.
    10. Najam us Saqib, 2004. "Willingness to Pay for Primary Education in Rural Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 27-51.
    11. Duraisamy, P. & James, Estelle & Lane, Julia & Jee-Peng Tan, 1997. "Is there a quantity-quality tradeoff as enrollments increase? Evidence from Tamil Nadu, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1768, The World Bank.
    12. Gautam Hazarika, 2001. "The Sensitivity of Primary School Enrollment to the Costs of Post-Primary Schooling in Rural Pakistan: A Gender Perspective," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 237-244.

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