Intrahousehold Allocation of Education Expenditure and Returns to Education: The Case of Sri Lanka
This paper uses demand analysis to explore whether intrahousehold allocation of education expenditure differs between boys and girls in rural Sri Lanka. Contrary to most countries in South Asia a significant bias favouring girls is found in 1990/91 for the 5-9 and 17-19 age groups and in 1995/96 for the 5-9 and 14-16 age groups. The 5-9 age group captures the run-up to the Year 5 scholarship exams that are used to gain entry into better performing secondary schools. The 14-16 and 17-19 age groups capture those who read for important National level qualifications vital in the job market. The paper argues that these household level decisions are rational because wage returns to junior and senior secondary education have been higher for females than for males through the 1980s and 1990s.
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