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Gender Bias in Household Expenditure on Education: An Empirical Study
Household spending on education depends on the parent’s preference for equality among children, which affects how the resources are allocated for children’s education with different expected returns. This study examines the factors underlying household decisions to spend on children's education and compares the magnitude of gender disparity in education expenditure in rural areas of West Bengal state of India. The study found a pro-male bias in household spending on education. The results of this study show that household income is the key to determining the level of household expenditure on education. Level of education attained by parents, household size, mothers' education strongly influence household spending on education. Contrary to expectations, women's participation in labour force has a negative influence on girls' education expenditure. Decomposing the spending gap in education reveals that the difference in human capital endowment explains only a minuscule percentage of gaps in spending, and the almost entire portion of the gap is due to discriminatory behaviour of parents.
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