Gender, ethnicity and cumulative disadvantage in education

Produced by: 
The World Bank
Available from: 
December 2013
Paper author(s): 
Emcet O. Tas
Maira Emy Reimão
Maria Beatriz Orlando
Topic: 
Education and Health
Gender Economics
Year: 
2013

This paper studies the impact of gender and ethnicity on educational outcomes using cross-country evidence from Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. It uses the Minnesota Population Center's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series-International database, which includes individual-level data from large, harmonized, and representative samples of country censuses. Using an estimation method analogous to difference-in-differences, the paper finds that gender-based differences in literacy, primary school completion, and secondary school completion are larger for minority ethnic groups compared with others or, alternatively, ethnicity-based differences are larger for women compared with men. The findings suggest that the intersection of gender and ethnicity confers cumulative disadvantage for minority groups, especially in Latin America. The paper discusses the implications of these findings on the design of, targeting in, and resource allocation for development programs.

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