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Does the Labour Market Explain Lower Female Schooling in India?

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  • Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

Abstract

Labour market discrimination against women and parental discrimination against daughters are two of the most commonly cited explanations of the gender gap in education in developing countries. This study empirically tests the labour market explanation for India using household survey data collected in urban Uttar Pradesh in 1995. It estimates workforce participation functions and selectivity-corrected earnings fluctuations, and calculates the rates of return to education for the two sexes. Using the Blinder-Oaxaca method, the gross gender difference in earnings is decomposed into the part that is explained by men and women's differential characteristics and the part that is due to labour market discrimination. The results reveal that there is substantial omitted family background bias in the estimates of returns and that, contrary to received wisdom, the rates of returns to education rise by education level. The analysis suggests that, as well as overall labour girls face significantly lower economic rates of returns to education than boys.

Suggested Citation

  • Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1997. "Does the Labour Market Explain Lower Female Schooling in India?," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 01, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to education; gender; labour force participation; earnings function; selectivity correction; India.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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