Additional Returns to Investing in Girls' Education: Impact on Younger Sibling Human Capital

Javaeria A. Qureshi, University of Chicago

A vast literature on the spillovers from girls’ education focuses on the impact of maternal education on child outcomes. This paper is the first to investigate whether externalities from girls’ education affect younger sibling learning. In many developing countries, oldest sisters share significant child care responsibilities in the household and potentially play an important role in younger siblings’ learning. I propose a model incorporating the effect of the oldest sister that predicts competing effects of increasing oldest sister’s schooling on younger siblings’ human capital. Using an identification strategy that exploits the gender segregation of schools in Pakistan, I estimate the impact of oldest sister’s schooling on human capital acquisition of younger brothers. I find that oldest sister's schooling has significant, beneficial impacts for younger brothers’ schooling, enrollment, literacy and numeracy. An additional year of schooling for the oldest sister increases younger brother’s schooling by 0.42 years and his probability of being enrolled by 9.6 percent.

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Presented in Session 70: Child and Family Policy