Girls' Education, Stipend Programs and their Effects on the Education of Younger Siblings
This paper examines the link between the Female Secondary School Stipend Program in Bangladesh, its effects on schooling of girls, and the subsequent impact on the education of their younger siblings. The stipend program was introduced nationwide in 1994, and affected girls in rural areas who were of secondary school age (grades 6-10) in 1994 or later, but not boys of the same cohort. We examine the effect of educational attainment of older siblings on schooling outcomes of younger siblings. We also examine the role of the gender of older siblings on the schooling outcomes of younger siblings. We find that the education of older siblings has a positive effect on the schooling of younger siblings, and that the effect is stronger on younger brothers than on younger sisters. When we take into account the endogeneity of education of older siblings, we find that their gender composition generally has no effect on the schooling attainment of younger siblings. The instrumental variable estimates, using stipend program eligibility as an instrument, suggest that the completed years of schooling by younger siblings would increase by about 0.13 years if the education of older siblings increased by one year. The intent-to-treat effect suggests that the stipend program increased schooling by 2.6 years. This implies about a 10 per cent increase in the schooling of younger siblings if elder siblings participated in the program. Our results suggest that school programs that benefit children's education could bring both short- and long-term gains, not only directly to the affected children, but also indirectly to their siblings.
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