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Where has all the bias gone? Detecting gender-bias in the household allocation of educational expenditure

  • Geeta Kingdon

    (Centre for the Study of African Economies)

The reliability of the household consumption based (Engel curve) methodology in detecting gender bias has been called into question because it has generally failed to confirm bias even where it exists. This paper seeks to find explanations for this failure by exploiting a dataset that has educational expenditure information at the individual level and also, by aggregation, at the household level. We find that in the basic education age groups, the discriminatory mechanism in education is via differential enrolment rates for boys and girls. Education expenditure conditional on enrolment is equal for boys and girls. The Engel curve method fails for two reasons. Firstly, it models a single equation for the two stage process. Second, even when we make individual and household level expenditure equations as similar as possible, the household level equation still fails to ‘pick up’ gender bias in about one third of the cases where the individual-level equation shows significant bias. The paper concludes that only individual based data can accurately capture the full extent of gender bias.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0409037.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 23 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0409037
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 43
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  1. Jean Dreze & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1999. "School Participation in Rural India," Working papers 69, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  2. Cliff Attfield & Sonia R Bhalotra, 1998. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Rural Pakistan: A Semi-parametric Analysis," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 11, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2008. "Household Expenditure Patterns and Gender Bias: Evidence from Selected Indian States," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 133-157.
  4. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1998. "Does the labour market explain lower female schooling in India?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 39-65.
  5. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
  6. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 2002. "Consumption, health, gender and poverty," Working Papers 197, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  7. Ahmad, A. & Morduch, J., 1993. "Identifying Sex Bias in the Allocation of Household Resources: Evidence from Linked Household Surveys from Bangladesh," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1636, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Why have some Indian states done better than others at reducing rural poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1594, The World Bank.
  9. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2006. "Endogenous Intra-household Balance of Power and its Impact on Expenditure Patterns: Evidence from India," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 435-460, 08.
  10. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Returns To Women'S Education," Papers 603, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  11. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon & Jeemol Unni, 2001. "Education and Women's Labour Market Outcomes in India," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 173-195.
  12. Kingdon, Geeta, 1996. "The Quality and Efficiency of Private and Public Education: A Case-Study of Urban India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 57-82, February.
  13. Jere R. Behrman & Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig & Prem Vashishtha, 1999. "Women's Schooling, Home Teaching, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 682-714, August.
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