Looking Beyond Universal Primary Education: Gender Differences in Time Use among Children in Rural Bangladesh

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Author/Publisher: Population Council
Language: English

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This paper addresses gender equity in parents' educational investments in children in a context of rising school attendance in rural Bangladesh. Our premise is that in addition to factors such as school enrollment and aspects of school quality, attention should focus on household-level private investments in education. By private investments we mean time allocated to studying at home and access to private tutoring after school. Using data from the nationally representative 2005 Bangladesh Adolescent Survey, we analyze correlates of time spent in school, studying outside school, and work, using a data set on time-use patterns of school-going children and adolescents. We find that time spent in work varies inversely with the amount of time spent studying at home, while time at school shows no such association. We find support for two hypotheses regarding household influences on education. First, time spent in school is insensitive to factors such as poverty and gender. Second, time spent studying outside school is strongly influenced by household decisions that favor boys, who appear to have about 30 minutes more discretionary study time than girls.


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