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Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women

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  • Rachel Heath
  • A. Mushfiq Mobarak

Abstract

We study the effects of explosive growth in the Bangladeshi ready-made garments industry on the lives on Bangladeshi women. We compare the marriage, childbearing, school enrollment and employment decisions of women who gain greater access to garment sector jobs to women living further away from factories, to years before the factories arrive close to some villages, and to the marriage and enrollment decisions of their male siblings. Girls exposed to the garment sector delay marriage and childbirth. This stems from (a) young girls becoming more likely to be enrolled in school after garment jobs (which reward literacy and numeracy) arrive, and (b) older girls becoming more likely to be employed outside the home in garment-proximate villages. The demand for education generated through manufacturing growth appears to have a much larger effect on female educational attainment compared to a large-scale government conditional cash transfer program to encourage female schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Heath & A. Mushfiq Mobarak, 2014. "Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women," NBER Working Papers 20383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20383
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    Cited by:

    1. Adukia, Anjali & Asher, Samuel & Novosad, Paul, 2017. "Educational Investment Responses to Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Indian Road Construction," MPRA Paper 80194, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:111-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Prodyumna Goutam & Italo A. Gutierrez & Krishna B. Kumar & Shanthi Nataraj, 2017. "Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers WR-1198, RAND Corporation.
    4. Rachel Heath & Seema Jayachandran, 2016. "The Causes and Consequences of Increased Female Education and Labor Force Participation in Developing Countries," Working Papers id:11434, eSocialSciences.
    5. Sawada Yasuyuki & Mahmud Minhaj & Seki Mai & Le An & Kawarazaki Hikaru, 2017. "Individualized Self-learning Program to Improve Primary Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Bangladesh," Working Papers 156, JICA Research Institute.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:28-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Margherita Calderone, 2017. "Are there different spillover effects from cash transfers to men and women? Impacts on investments in education in post-war Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 093, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Sarr, Leopold & Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Cognitive, Non-Cognitive Skills and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 9132, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Naila Kabeer, 2016. "Gender Equality, Economic Growth, and Women's Agency: the "Endless Variety" and "Monotonous Similarity" of Patriarchal Constraints," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 295-321, January.
    10. Thomas Farole & Yoonyoung Cho, 2017. "Bangladesh Jobs Diagnostic," World Bank Other Operational Studies 28498, The World Bank.
    11. Reshad N. Ahsan & Kazi Iqbal, 2016. "How Do Exporters Cope With Violence? Evidence from Political Strikes in Bangladesh," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 2025, The University of Melbourne.
    12. Stephen Golub & Aly Mbaye & Hanyu Chwe, 2015. "Labor Market Regulations in Sub-Saharan Africa, With a Focus on Senegal," Working Papers 201505, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    13. Macchiavello, Rocco & Menzel, Andreas & Rabbani, Atonu & Woodruff, Christopher, 2015. "Challenges of Change: An Experiment Training Women to Manage in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 256, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    14. Bobba, Matteo & Flabbi, Luca & Levy Algazi, Santiago, 2017. "Labor Market Search, Informality and Schooling Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 11170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. repec:eee:socmed:v:196:y:2018:i:c:p:150-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Fletcher, Erin K. & Pande, Rohini & Troyer Moore, Charity, 2017. "Women and Work in India: Descriptive Evidence and a Review of Potential Policies," Working Paper Series rwp18-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    17. Kubitza, Christoph & Gehrke, Esther, 2018. "Why does a labor-saving technology decrease fertility rates? Evidence from the oil palm boom in Indonesia," EFForTS Discussion Paper Series 22, University of Goettingen, Collaborative Research Centre 990 "EFForTS, Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)".
    18. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:42-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:eee:inecon:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:165-183 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge & Kjetil Bjorvatn & Amina Mohamed Maalim & Vincent Somville & Bertil Tungodden, 2017. "Reducing early pregnancy in low-income countries: A literature review and new evidence," WIDER Working Paper Series 133, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    21. Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Pieters, Janneke & Sparrow, Robert, 2017. "Globalization and Social Change: Gender-Specific Effects of Trade Liberalization in Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 10552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:330-348 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. VAN DEN BROECK, Goedele & MAERTENS, Miet, 2015. "Does Off-farm Employment Make Women in Rural Senegal Happy?," Working Papers 232593, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
    24. Zaki Wahhaj, 2015. "A Theory of Child Marriage," Studies in Economics 1520, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    25. Prodyumna Goutam & Italo A. Gutierrez & Krishna B. Kumar & Shanthi Nataraj, 2017. "Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers 1198, RAND Corporation.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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