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The Gender Education Gap in China: The Power of Water

Author

Listed:
  • Maimaiti, Yasheng

    () (Xinjiang University)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    () (University of Birmingham)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Maimaiti, Yasheng & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2009. "The Gender Education Gap in China: The Power of Water," IZA Discussion Papers 4108, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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. 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, December.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Jing & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2016. "The long-run effects of treated water on education: The rural drinking water program in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Xu, Lixin Colin & Zhang, Jing, 2014. "Water quality, brawn, and education: the rural drinking water program in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7054, The World Bank.
    3. Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2011. "Menstruation, Sanitary Products, and School Attendance: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 91-100, January.
    4. Kang, Lili & Peng, Fei, 2012. "Siblings, public facilities and education returns in China," MPRA Paper 38922, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; gender gaps; menarche; water; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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