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Women Count: Gender (in-)equalities in the human capital development in Asia, 1900-60


  • Friesen, Julia
  • Baten, Jörg
  • Prayon, Valeria


This paper traces the human capital development of 14 Asian countries for the period of 1900-60, using the age-heaping method. We place special emphasis on the gender gap in numeracy and its determinants. In particular, we test the validity of a U-hypothesis of gender equality, implying that gender equality in numeracy declines at initial stages of development and increases again with higher numeracy levels. The U-shaped pattern is strongly confirmed by our data.

Suggested Citation

  • Friesen, Julia & Baten, Jörg & Prayon, Valeria, 2012. "Women Count: Gender (in-)equalities in the human capital development in Asia, 1900-60," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 29, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chaudhary, Latika, 2009. "Determinants of Primary Schooling in British India," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 269-302, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Kerstin Manzel & Joerg Baten & Yvonne Stolz, 2012. "Convergence and divergence of numeracy: the development of age heaping in Latin America from the seventeenth to the twentieth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(3), pages 932-960, August.
    4. Baten, Joerg & Ma, Debin & Morgan, Stephen & Wang, Qing, 2010. "Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in the 18-20th centuries: Evidences from real wages, age-heaping, and anthropometrics," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 347-359, July.
    5. A'Hearn, Brian & Baten, Jörg & Crayen, Dorothee, 2009. "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 783-808, September.
    6. Esteve-Volart, Berta, 2004. "Gender discrimination and growth: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6641, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Manzel, Kerstin & Baten, Jörg, 2009. "Gender Equality and Inequality in Numeracy: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1880–1949," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 37-73, January.
    8. Jörg Baten & Dorothee Crayen, 2008. "Global Trends in Numeracy 1820-1949 and its Implications for Long-Run Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2218, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Dorothee Crayen & Joerg Baten, 2010. "New evidence and new methods to measure human capital inequality before and during the industrial revolution: France and the US in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(2), pages 452-478, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:cliomt:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0147-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jörg Baten & Mikołaj Szołtysek, 2012. "The human capital of Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe in European perspective," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item


    human capital; age-heaping; education; gender inequality; numeracy; development; asia;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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