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Are Women more Efficient Transmitters and, or Receivers of Literacy and Education Externalities? Richard Palmer-Jones School of Development Studies, University.

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Presentation on theme: "Are Women more Efficient Transmitters and, or Receivers of Literacy and Education Externalities? Richard Palmer-Jones School of Development Studies, University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are Women more Efficient Transmitters and, or Receivers of Literacy and Education Externalities? Richard Palmer-Jones School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Workshop on Life Course, Well-being and Public Policy, 9-10/11/06

2 Mothers, children and the Inter- generational transmission of well-being Caldwell, and UN, suggest women/mothers, translate education into child wellbeing (IMRs, Height for Age,.., fertility reduction, etc. more efficiently than males/fathers B&F (1998) analysing proximate-illiteracy also suggest women are more efficient transmitters of literacy externalities BNR (2001) suggest illiterate women are also more efficient recipients of literacy externalities, at least in so far as labour productivity is concerned

3 Proximate Illiteracy B&F argue that effective literacy depends on the distribution of literates within the population, depending on the extent to which within household sharing of literacy benefits occurs –Kerala has greater effective literacy because it is more widely distributed among households –Also, females may be more effective transmitters BNR suggest that the incentive to share literacy benefits with household members depends on alterations in bargaining power that may arise if benefits to household illiterates alters intra-household allocations –Greater incentives to share benefits which raise labour earnings with household members of low bargaining power (perceived resource contributions) Disadvantages of isolated illiterates – policy?

4 BNR find significantly greater wages for proximate-illiterate females in non-farm employment than for males –Not a selection effect because similar for unmarried females as for all females Gibson, 2001, and also Alderman et. al, 2003, find Child Nutritional Status benefits associated with female literacy –Community level measures of literacy

5 But If females are more efficient education externality recipients they are often receiving it from males (table 6) The difference between male and female education effects on child mortality are small –And not universal (negligible difference in urban areas?) Males are more educated than females –More of them & to higher levels implying (table 1) Educated males are less talented than females educated to the same level Uneducated males are less talented than uneducated females Assortative mating means educated females are married to (more) educated males (table 1) –Maybe effect of educated females is (partly) due to characteristics of male to whom they are married Exceptions (prove the rule?) –Educated/literate females married to less educated males –educated men married to uneducated females –Consider educational differences and synergies

6 Illiterate females in non-farm labour force more likely to be male-proximate Table 6: Proximate Illiterates in the Non-Agricultural Labour Force, by Sex and Household Literacy, Bangladesh HIES 1995/6 Household Literacy NumberProportion of proximate-illiterates MaleFemaleMaleFemale Illiterate Male only Female only Male & female Source: authors calculations from HIES 1995/6

7 More males are more educated Table 1: Educational Levels of Spouses, Bangladesh, 2000/1 Malenone/missing 1-5 years 6-8 years 9-11 years > 11 year none years years years > 11 years Notes:the cells represent the educational levels of spouses. 1.a missing educational attainment observation is interpreted as no education Source: authors calculations from HIES 2000/1 unit records.

8 soooo ………… If effects are non-linear (monotonic increasing at declining rate) –Effect may partly be statistical illusion –And there are lots of empirical problems with the BNR, Gibson and Alderman et al. papers Community level female literacy variables not controlled for other community variables –Why are females relatively more literate? –See North vs South India analysis later BNR analysis selective and simplistic Results not robust to other data sets

9 Typical data showing greater association of female than male literacy with CNS

10 Assortative mating and education

11 Educational Levels of Parents of Children (< 18 years) in HIES, 2000/1 (all children) mother's education father's education no parentilliterate literate primarysecondaryhigherotherTotal no parent ,057 illiterate9637,6041, ,031 literate below primary ,552 primary ,508 secondary ,303 higher total2,3488,5172,2841,4292, ,582

12 lnhaz = c + a1*ln(mothers_yrs_educ) + a2*ln(fathers_yrs_educ) + a3*ln(mothers*fathers_yrs_educ) Dependent variable = ln(haz) coefficients coef/(t-value) Ln(mothers educ) (a1)0.019* (2.558) Ln(fathers_ed) (a2)0.013* (2.349) ln(mothers*fathers_ed (a3)0.008* (2.230) _cons [c]1.730*** ( ) N3499 r2_a0.051*** Test coefs mothers=fathers educationP>f 0.45 Raw education values from 1 to 15 (approximately years) source: HIES and CNS 2000/1

13 negative participation coefficients – i.e. proximate-illiterate females less likely to be in the labour force coefficients of male- & female- proximate variables not different use of age instead of years of labour market experience –Liberal households may enable greater effective participation for given age unmarried females includes never and formerly married –Spurious test for selection –formerly married women (widows and divorcees) –Wage coefficient does not increase with marriage experience –Never married and wives also have positive wage coefficients What characteristics does household literacy represent? –alternative explanations of literacy externality (to productivity effect) neglected –better networks of (male) literates –better bargaining skills (and power) (of self or household) –selection of more productive (illiterate) females into (male) literate household Not controverted by spurious BNR test – curious categorisation of houshold litteracy m- and f- proximate but no m&f-proximate cases? synergy of proximity to both male and female literates –M&f-proximate illiterates have highest wage externalities Bias in interpretation of results (BNR) – proximate illiterate female wages

14 Literacy externalities - robustness, social and regional variations, and industries Wage benefits of female prox-illit. do not carry over to child nutritional status improvements (HIES, 2000/1) Similar results not obtained in 2000/1 HIES –Positive selection but negative wage effects for female prox-illits. Marital and kinship practices (Indian NSS EUS data) –north and south India female participation less in north Positive female wage effect only in north –Social groups (ST, SC, Caste, Muslim..) Selection into marriage to literate households –More able illiterates marry into literate households? Wage premium due to unobserved attributes of proximate-illiterates Wage effect observed in manufacturing sector (not construction, mining, services)

15 How does education work? Search for mechanisms of transmission of education to child well-being –Content – health and nutrition content –Better able to diagnose and treat – learn treatments outside school –Better able to seek assistance from modern sources – self confidence –Different cultural values in literate households Depends on the cultures of the literate and what is taught in schools, in other educational establishments, and at home

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