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Gender and Household Education Expenditure in Pakistan

  • Monazza Aslam
  • Geeta Kingdon

Pakistan has very large gender gaps in educational outcomes. While this suggests that girls may receive lower educational expenditure allocations than boys within households, this has never convincingly been tested. This paper investigates whether the intra-household allocation of educational expenditure in Pakistan favour males over females. It also explores two different explanations for the failure of the extant `Engel curve` studies to detect gender-differentiated treatment in education even where gender bias is strongly expected. Using individual level data from the latest household survey from Pakistan, we estimate Engel curves and Hurdle models to address these questions. We posit two potential channels of gender bias: bias in the decision whether to enrol/keep both sons and daughters in school, and bias in the decision of education expenditure conditional on keeping both sons and daughters. In junior and secondary school ages, evidence points to significant pro-male biases in both the enrolment decision as well as the decision of how much to spend conditional on enrolment. However, in the primary school age-group, only the former channel of bias applies. Household fixed effects estimation suggests that the observed strong gender difference in education expenditure is a within rather than an across household phenomenon.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number GPRG-WPS-025.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:gprg-wps-025
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