The structure of social disparities in education : gender and wealth
Using internationally comparable household data sets (Demographic and Health Surveys), the author investigates how gender and wealth interact to generate within country inequalities in educational enrollment and attainment. He carries out multivariate analysis to assess the partial relationship between educational outcomes and gender, wealth, household characteristics (including level of education of adults, in the households), and community characteristics (including the presence of schools in the community). He finds that: 1) women are at a great educational disadvantage in countries in South Asia and North, Western, and Central Africa. 2) Gender gaps are large in a subset of countries, but wealth gaps are large in almost all of the countries studied. Moreover, in some countries where there is a heavy female disadvantage in enrollment (Egypt, India, Morocco, Niger, and Pakistan), wealth interacts with gender to exacerbate the gap in the educational outcomes. In India, for example, where there is a 2.5 percentage point difference between male and female enrollment for children from the richest households, the difference is 34 percentage points for children from the poorest households. 3) The education level of adults in the household has a significant impact on the enrollment of children in all the countries studied, even after controlling for wealth. The effect of the educational level of adult female is larger than that of the education level of adult males in some, but not all, of the countries studied. 4) The presence of a primary and a secondary school in the community has a significant relationship with enrollment in some countries only (notably in Western and Central Africa). The relationship appears not to systematically differ by children's gender.
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