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The Educational Gender Gap in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Suzanne Duryea
  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Hugo Ñopo

    ()

  • Claudia Piras

This paper analyzes the evolution of gender differences in school attendance and attainment in Latin America and the Caribbean, for both adults who left the educational system and children in school. For individuals 21 years old and above the paper uses a cohort analysis of school attainment. The results indicate that the schooling gap has closed for the cohort born at the end of the 1960s. Since then, the gap has reversed such that within the cohort born in 1980, females have, on average, ¼ of a schooling year more than males. During the four decades of birth cohorts of our analysis (1940-1980) the gender gap in attainment has moved in favor of females at a pace of 0. 27 years of schooling per decade. A decomposition exercise suggests that the changes in the schooling gap are mainly explained by the educational attainment of females at the higher levels, rather than improvements in the early years of education. An analysis of attendance and attainment among girls and boys between 6 and 18, for Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru (the countries that have not closed the gap in adult schooling attainment) reveals noticeable gender differences, favoring boys, only among older children of the lowest income quintiles and indigenous ethnicity.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4510.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4510
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  1. Schultz, T Paul, 1973. "A Preliminary Survey of Economic Analyses of Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 71-78, May.
  2. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
  3. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
  4. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  5. Suzanne Duryea & Jere R. Behrman & Miguel Székely, 1999. "Schooling Investments and Macroeconomic Conditions: A Micro-Macro Investigation for Latin America and the Caribbean," Research Department Publications 4184, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
  7. Psacharopoulos, George & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1992. "Latin American women's earnings and participation in the labor force," Policy Research Working Paper Series 856, The World Bank.
  8. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
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