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Closing the Gender Gap in Education: Does it Foretell the Closing of the Employment, Marriage, and Motherhood Gaps?

  • Ganguli Prokopovych, Ina
  • Hausmann, Ricardo
  • Viarengo, Martina

In this paper we examine several dimensions of gender disparity for a sample of 40 countries using micro-level data. We start by documenting the reversal of the gender education gap and ranking countries by the year in which it reversed. Then we turn to an analysis of the state of other gaps facing women: we compare men and women’s labor force participation (the labor force participation gap), married and single women’s labor force participation (the marriage gap), and mothers’ and non-mother’s labor force participation (the motherhood gap). We show that gaps still exist in these spheres in many countries, though there is significant heterogeneity among countries in terms of the size of and the speed at which these gaps are changing. We also show the relationship between the gaps and ask how much the participation gap would be reduced if the gaps in other spheres were eliminated. In general, we show that while there seems to be a relationship between the decline of the education gap and the reduction of the other gaps, the link is rather weak and highly heterogeneous across countries.

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Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 5027209.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:5027209
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  1. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, . "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 90-5a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  3. Suzanne Duryea & Sebastian Galiani & Hugo Ñopo & Claudia Piras, 2007. "The Educational Gender Gap in Latin America and the Caribbean," Research Department Publications 4510, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Diane Dancer & Anu Rammohan & Murray D. Smith, 2008. "Infant mortality and child nutrition in Bangladesh," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1015-1035.
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  6. Virginia Sanchez-Marcos & Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low, 2004. "Explaining Changes in Female Labour Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," 2004 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  9. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  11. Bradley T. Heim, 2007. "The Incredible Shrinking Elasticities: Married Female Labor Supply, 1978–2002," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  12. Osili, Una Okonkwo & Long, Bridget Terry, 2008. "Does female schooling reduce fertility? Evidence from Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 57-75, August.
  13. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
  14. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, May.
  15. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History," NBER Working Papers 4707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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