Is there a Boy Bias in Household Education Expenditure?

Working paper

Abstract: This paper asks whether there is a boy bias in household-level education expenditure for households with children aged 5 to 19 years old in Andhra Pradesh in India, based on Round 2 of the Young Lives survey conducted in 2006. The sample contains 982 households comprising 2578 children. The analysis is based on both demand analysis and a hurdle model. The results show that there is a bias favouring boys in terms of school enrolment as the children get older, captured by age categories 10–14 and 15–19. There is also a bias favouring boys in household education expenditure allocation, given positive expenditure, when children are between 10 and 14 years of age, driven mainly by extra tuition fees. Quite notably, once the households have decided to educate a child beyond the upper primary level (i.e., beyond grade 8), there is no gender-based expenditure bias and an equal proportion of boys and girls are sent to private schools that provide better quality education.