Where has all the bias gone? Detecting gender-bias in the household allocation of educational expenditure
The reliability of the household consumption based (Engel curve) methodology in detecting gender bias has been called into question because it has generally failed to confirm bias even where it exists. This paper seeks to find explanations for this failure by exploiting a dataset that has educational expenditure information at the individual level and also, by aggregation, at the household level. We find that in the basic education age groups, the discriminatory mechanism in education is via differential enrolment rates for boys and girls. Education expenditure conditional on enrolment is equal for boys and girls. The Engel curve method fails for two reasons. Firstly, it models a single equation for the two stage process. Second, even when we make individual and household level expenditure equations as similar as possible, the household level equation still fails to ‘pick up’ gender bias in about one third of the cases where the individual-level equation shows significant bias. The paper concludes that only individual based data can accurately capture the full extent of gender bias.
|Date of creation:||2003|
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