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Gender Bias in Parental Investments in Children’s Education: A Theoretical Analysis

  • Silvia Pasqua


Human capital accumulation is one of the main engines of economic growth. Thus, many LDCs have introduced laws over the past 30 years for compulsory education and have increased their investment in public schooling. Nevertheless, the level of education in most poor countries is still very low, particularly for girls. The goal of this article is to develop a model of household decision-making in order to better understand what variables affect parents’ decision to educate girls less than boys. In the first part of the paper, a unitary model, a non-cooperative household model, and a bargaining model are developed and compared to explain factors that might produce gender bias in investment in education. As a result, the number of years of education for male and female children depends on the different costs and returns of educating girls and boys and, in the non-consensus models, on each parent’s preferences and decision power. The second part of the paper contains a simulation of the models assuming different policies for increasing women’s education using figures from the Living Standard Measurement Studies of Cote d’Ivoire. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 291-314

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:291-314
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