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Empowering Women Through Education: Evidence from Sierra Leone

  • Colin Cannonier


    (Belmont University)

  • Naci Mocan


    (Louisiana State University, NBER and IZA)

We use data from Sierra Leone where a substantial education program provided increased access to education for primary-school age children but did not benefit children who were older. We exploit the variation in access to the program generated by date of birth and the variation in resources between various districts of the country. We find that the program has increased educational attainment and that an increase in education has changed women’s preferences. An increase in schooling, triggered by the program, had an impact on women’s attitudes towards matters that impact women’s health and on attitudes regarding violence against women. An increase in education has also reduced the number of desired children by women and increased their propensity to use modern contraception and to be tested for AIDS. While education makes women more intolerant of practices that conflict with their well-being, increased education has no impact on men’s attitudes towards women’s well-being.

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Paper provided by Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum in its series Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers with number 1231.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:koc:wpaper:1231
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  1. Michael Grossman, 2008. "The Relationship Between Health and Schooling," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 281-292.
  2. Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Leigh Linden, 2006. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomised Experiments in India," Working Papers id:360, eSocialSciences.
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  6. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  7. Willa Friedman & Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2011. "Education as Liberation?," NBER Working Papers 16939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Naci Mocan & Duha T. Altindag, 2013. "Education, Cognition, Health Knowledge, and Health Behavior," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1310, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
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  11. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
  12. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  14. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
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  17. Shin-Yi Chou & Jin-Tan Liu & Michael Grossman & Ted Joyce, 2010. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 33-61, January.
  18. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  19. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, December.
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  21. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2007. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," NBER Working Papers 13305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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