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The Impact of Education on Women’s Preferences for Gender Equality : Evidence from Sierra Leone



    (University of Belmont)

  • Naci MOCAN

    (Louisiana State University, NBER, IZA)


We use data from Sierra Leone where a substantial education program provided increased access to education for primary-school age children but did not benefit children who were older. We exploit the variation in access to the program generated by date of birth and the variation in resources between various districts of the country. We find that an increase in schooling, triggered by the program, has an impact on women's attitudes toward matters that impact women's health and on attitudes regarding violence against women. An increase in education reduces the number of desired children by women and increases their propensity to use modern contraception and to be tested for AIDS. While education makes women more intolerant of practices that conflict with their well-being, increased education has no impact on men's attitudes toward women's well-being. Thus, it is unclear whether the change in attitudes would translate into behavioral changes. Consistent with this finding, education (on this margin) has no impact on women's propensity to get married, their age at first marriage or age at first birth.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin CANNONIER & Naci MOCAN, 2018. "The Impact of Education on Women’s Preferences for Gender Equality : Evidence from Sierra Leone," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 3-40, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvde:v:84:y:2018:i:1:p:3-40
    DOI: 10.1017/dem.2016.12

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    Cited by:

    1. Mocan, Naci, 2019. "Taxes and culture of leisure: Impact on labor supply in Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 618-639.
    2. Resul Cesur & Naci Mocan, 2018. "Education, religion, and voter preference in a Muslim country," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 1-44, January.
    3. Dursun, Bahadır & Cesur, Resul & Mocan, Naci, 2018. "The Impact of Education on Health Outcomes and Behaviors in a Middle-Income, Low-Education Country," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 94-114.
    4. Willem Vanlaer & Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe, 2020. "Consumer Confidence and Household Saving Behaviors: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 147(2), pages 677-721, January.


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