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The structure of social disparities in education : gender and wealth

  • Filmer, Deon

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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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2268.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2268
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  1. Lavy, Victor, 1996. "School supply constraints and children's educational outcomes in rural Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 291-314, December.
  2. Pitt, M., 1995. "Women's Schooling, the Selectivity of Fertility, and Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa," Papers 119, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  3. Jere Behrman & James C. Knowles, . "How Strongly is Child Schooling Associated with Household Income?," CARESS Working Papres 97-22, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Filmer, Deon & King, Elizabeth M. & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Gender disparity in South Asia : comparisons between and within countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1867, The World Bank.
  6. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
  7. Ahuja, Vinod & Filmer, Deon, 1995. "Educational attainments in developing countries : new estimates and projections disaggregated by gender," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1489, The World Bank.
  8. Benefo, Kofi & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Fertility and Child Mortality in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 123-58, January.
  9. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
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