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Crossing boundaries : gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G.
  • Mansuri, Ghazala

Abstract

Can communal heterogeneity explain persistent educational inequities in developing countries? The paper uses a novel data-set from rural Pakistan that explicitly recognizes the geographic structure of villages and the social makeup of constituent hamlets to show that demand for schooling is sensitive to the allocation of schools across ethnically fragmented communities. The analysis focuses on two types of social barriers: stigma based on caste affiliation and female seclusion that is more rigidly enforced outside a girl's own hamlet. Results indicate a substantial decrease in primary school enrollment rates for girls who have to cross hamlet boundaries to attend, irrespective of school distance, an effect not present for boys. However, low-caste children, both boys and girls, are deterred from enrolling when the most convenient school is in a hamlet dominated by high-caste households. In particular, low-caste girls, the most educationally disadvantaged group, benefit from improved school access only when the school is also caste-concordant. A policy experiment indicates that providing schools in low-caste dominant hamlets would increase overall enrollment by almost twice as much as a policy of placing a school in every unserved hamlet, and would do so at one-sixth of the cost.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5710.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5710

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Keywords: Primary Education; Education For All; Disability; Adolescent Health; Tertiary Education;

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  1. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
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  3. Dreze, Jean & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2001. "School Participation in Rural India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, February.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  6. Siwan Anderson, 2011. "Caste as an Impediment to Trade," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 239-63, January.
  7. Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2009. "Can good projects succeed in bad communities?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 899-916, August.
  8. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
  9. Filmer, Deon & King, Elizabeth M. & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Gender disparity in South Asia : comparisons between and within countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 1867, The World Bank.
  10. Luke, Nancy & Munshi, Kaivan, 2007. "Social affiliation and the demand for health services: Caste and child health in South India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 256-279, July.
  11. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
  12. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Gine, Xavier & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Together we will : experimental evidence on female voting behavior in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 5692, The World Bank.
  2. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2012. "Making up people -- the effect of identity on preferences and performance in a modernizing society," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 6223, The World Bank.

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