Influences of Women’s State-Level Empowerment on Educational Inputs and Gender Gaps in Primary Schooling

Kathryn M. Yount, Emory University
Solveig Argeseanu Cunningham, Emory University
Rohini P. Pande, Independent Consultant

We use a “gender and political-economy” framework to explore the influences of women’s state-level empowerment on levels and gaps in girls’ and boys’ primary schooling. We explore whether women’s institutional and grassroots empowerment influence state-level schooling outcomes directly, or indirectly through state-level inputs into education. Our analysis extends recent studies in India showing differences in the policy preferences of male and female politicians and a tendency for village councils where women have greater representation to implement policies that promote the collective good. We will extend prior work by (1) exploring a wider range of measures for women’s institutional and grassroots empowerment and state-level educational inputs and (2) estimating the pathways by which women’s state-level empowerment influences girls’ and boys’ primary schooling, directly and through changes in state-level schooling inputs. We anticipate that women's greater institutional and grassroots empowerment will improve primary-school entry, attendance, and attainment, overall and especially for girls.

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Presented in Session 167: Gender in Developing Countries