WiP Seminar: Angelina Nazarova

Title: "Education vs Labour: Land Contracts and Gendered Parental Investments in Tajikistan"

  • Data: 06 luglio 2021 dalle 15:00 alle 16:00

  • Luogo: Microsoft Teams


Female empowerment is crucial for several aspects of economic development. The existing debate emphasized both the advantages of female labor participation and the positive effects of female education. However, these two results may be not equally possible in a context, where there is a trade-off between labor participation and education. This paper is focusing on the unexplored context of Tajikistan and quantifying the existing gender gap in intrahousehold spending as driven by gender-specific tasks in agriculture (e.g. cotton picking), exogenous price shocks, and types of land contracts. As cotton harvesting in Tajikistan is not mechanized, harvesting is done by women and children, which increases women employment but potentially affects girls' education. To test which effect prevails, I exploit household's data from the Tajikistan Living Standards Surveys 2007-2009-2011, a triple difference identification strategy relying on exogenous spikes in cotton prices (2010/2011) and spatial variation in suitability for cotton, and split sample analyses based on the exogenous allocation of land contracts (state-owned versus small-size inheritable household farms). Results show that girls experience lower educational spending, which further dropped in cotton areas following thee cotton price spikes, the eldest girl being the mostly discriminated, and the level of bias being proportional to the number of siblings. Results are driven by households holding land privately, since girls are more profitable in the fields rather than in school. The household head is more interested in investing into the male descendant who will inherit the land and take care of parents, further deepening the gender gap in the long term. Overall, this paper brings an evidence that gender differences in parental investments in patriarchal societies can be reinforced by the type of agricultural activity, while positive economic shocks may further exacerbate this bias, additionally crowding out higher possibilities to invest in female education.