Discussion Papers

No.522 The Bangladesh Gender Gap in Education: Biased Intra-household Educational Expenditures

by Abu S. SHONCHOY and Mehnaz RABBANI

March 2015


By investigating the educational expenditure of children over the ten years (2000 to 2010), we evaluate whether there exists any gender specific discrepancy at the household level and the trend of such discrepancy over the years. Using three rounds of nationally representative Household Income & Expenditure Surveys this study reveals that households spend less on education for their school-going girls compared to boys. By disaggregating the total expenditure into fixed and variable components, we find persistent gender imbalance in educational expenditure where households provide better quality of education for boys. Moreover, we find that gender based discrepancy has a very persistent trend and does not show any significant sign of narrowing the gap over the years. Cohort wise difference-in-difference estimation also reveals that the gap has initially widened and later converged but has not diminished beyond the initial level of discrepancy, which may warrant targeted policy intervention.

Keywords: Intra-household, Education, Expenditure, Discrepancy, Bangladesh.
JEL classification:  D13, J160, O150

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