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Human capital, kinship, and gender inequality

  • Anu Rammohan
  • Peter E. Robertson

We develop a household utility maximization model to explain gender disparities in education in traditional societies, based on anthropological evidence on the relationship between kinship and altruism. In this model, the asymmetry between males and females with respect to childbearing implies that parents face asymmetric monitoring costs with respect to the paternity of their grandchildren. Thus, with respect to co-residence decisions, households choose to have their male child and his bride co-reside in the male's natal family, and the female child and her husband co-reside with her husband's natal family (patrilocal exogamy). Because of this households also choose to invest less in a female child's education relative her male sibling. Copyright 2012 Oxford University Press 2011 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 64 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 417-438

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:64:y:2012:i:3:p:417-438
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