What policies will reduce gender schooling gaps in developing countries: evidence and interpretation

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This paper considers evidence for the effects of policies on gender gaps in education, distinguishing between policies that are ostensibly gender neutral and those that explicitly target girls. The demand for girls’ schooling is often more responsive than boys’ to gender neutral changes in school distance, price, and quality, patterns which can be explained in a human capital investment model through assumptions about girls’ and boys’ schooling costs and returns. Among policies that target girls’ enrolments, price incentives to households or schools and the provision of female teachers appear to be effective. Other interventions hold promise but have not been the subject of rigorous evaluation, pointing to an important agenda for future research.

 

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