Are Sons and Daughters Substitutable? A Study of Intra-household Allocation of Resources in Contemporary Japan
Gender inequality in educational attainment remains a salient feature of contemporary Japanese society. This inequality lies not at the high school level but at the university level. Equal numbers of men and women advance to high school, but a significantly lower proportion of women advance to four-year universities relative to men. Starting from government statistics which report that Japanese parents aspire to university education more for their sons than for their daughters, I argue that the gender gap in the university advancement rate in Japan stems in part from differences in how parents allocate resources within the household depending on the gender of their children. From the individuals' perspective, the gender composition of their siblings should therefore alter the ways in which resources are allocated to them. Using a 1995 cross-sectional sample of men and women between the ages of 20 and 70 in Japan, I test the null hypothesis that the marginal rate of substitution (MRS) between an additional brother versus an additional sister with respect to the probability that an individual advances to university or not is equal to unity, i.e. MRS = 1 implies that brothers and sisters are perfectly substitutable and that parents allocate resources equally amongst their sons and daughters. My results show that the null hypothesis is rejected for women but cannot be rejected for men: It is not sibship size per se that depresses women's likelihood of university advancement, but the number of brothers in the household. My findings lend support to the position that intra-household resources in Japan are likely to be allocated in favor of sons and away from daughters.
|Date of creation:||22 Aug 2000|
|Date of revision:||10 Feb 2003|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 2004, pages 143-160.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden|
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0397. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Helena Lundin)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.