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Does the Labour Market Explain Lower Female Schooling in India?

  • Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

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.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 01.

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Date of creation: Jan 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:01
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  1. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-46, December.
  2. Behrman, Jere R & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "The Socioeconomic Impact of Schooling in a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 296-303, May.
  3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  4. Dreze, J. & Srinivasan, P.V., 1996. "Poverty in India: Regional Estimates, 1987-8," Papers 129, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research-.
  5. Vijverberg, P.M., 1992. "Measuring Income from Family Enterprises with Household Surveys," Papers 84, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  6. Kingdon, Geeta, 1996. "The Quality and Efficiency of Private and Public Education: A Case-Study of Urban India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 57-82, February.
  7. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
  8. Appleton, Simon & Hoddinott, John & Knight, John, 1996. "Primary Education as an Input into Post-primary Education: A Neglected Benefit," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 211-19, February.
  9. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
  10. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Returns To Women'S Education," Papers 603, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  11. 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, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
  12. Greenhalgh, Christine A, 1980. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Great Britain: Is Marriage an Equal Opportunity?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 751-75, December.
  13. Sahn, David E. & Alderman, Harold, 1988. "The effects of human capital on wages, and the determinants of labor supply in a developing country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 157-183, September.
  14. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
  15. Banerjee, Biswajit & Knight, J. B., 1985. "Caste discrimination in the Indian urban labour market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 277-307, April.
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