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The Gender Education Gap in China: The Power of Water

  • Maimaiti, Yasheng

    ()

    (Xinjiang University)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    ()

    (University of Birmingham)

We investigate girls' school dropout rates, bringing forward a novel variable: access to water. We hypothesise that a girl's education suffers when her greater water need for female hygiene purposes after menarche is not met because her household has poor access to water. For testing we use data from rural villages in the China Health and Nutrition Survey. We find that menarche is associated with an increase in the school dropout rate, and indeed the effect is weaker for girls who have good access to water. Water engineering can thus contribute significantly to reducing gender education gaps in rural areas.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4108.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4108
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  1. Knight, John & Li, Shi, 1996. "Educational Attainment and the Rural--Urban Divide in China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 83-117, February.
  2. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, November.
  3. M. Anne Hill & Elizabeth King, 1995. "Women's education and economic well-being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 21-46.
  4. Hannum, Emily & Buchmann, Claudia, 2005. "Global Educational Expansion and Socio-Economic Development: An Assessment of Findings from the Social Sciences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 333-354, March.
  5. Lee, Yiu-fai Daniel, 2008. "Do families spend more on boys than on girls? Empirical evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 80-100, March.
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