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Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh

Khandker, Shahidur and Pitt, Mark and Fuwa, Nobuhiko (2003): Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh.

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Secondary school enrollment rates in the developing countries are usually lower for girls than boys, especially in rural areas. In the mid 1990’s a female school stipend program was introduced to subsidize girls’ secondary education in rural Bangladesh. Although all of rural Bangladesh was eventually covered by this program, it was not introduced at the same time in all areas and to all class cohorts. This variation in timing is the source of parameter identification in the analysis. Using two different datasets and school/village-level fixed effects, we estimate the effects of this stipend program on school enrollments. The analysis based upon two cross-sectional household surveys covering a common set of villages finds that the female stipend program increased girls’ secondary education substantially, but had no discernable effect on the schooling of boys. The analysis performed with an annual panel of school-level data also finds a significant effect of the stipend program on girl’s enrollment and reduced the enrollment of boys in coeducational secondary schools.

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