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Technology, enrollment gender gap and the impact of social norms in rural China

Technology, enrollment gender gap and the impact of social norms in rural China Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between gender gap in school enrollment and the spread of information and communication technology in rural China. Design/methodology/approach– Using data from China Health and Nutrition Survey for the period of 1991-2009, the authors document gender patterns of school enrollments of children aged between 7 and 18 years. The authors estimate the impact of phone and internet access on school enrollments of children using a probit model. Findings– The results indicate that the spread of phone and internet access both contribute to an increase in enrollment of females. Naturally, the gender gap in enrollments is not simply shaped by technology, and social norms also play an important role. Consequently, the results also show that enrollment of females is lower in the communities where pro-son preference is stronger, holding technology and other factors constant. Originality/value– The authors conclude that promoting further development of telecommunications services may result in narrowing the school enrollment gender gap in rural China. This conclusion is valuable in setting governmental policies as well as guiding the actions of NGOs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Agricultural Economic Review Emerald Publishing

Technology, enrollment gender gap and the impact of social norms in rural China

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-137X
DOI
10.1108/CAER-12-2014-0138
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between gender gap in school enrollment and the spread of information and communication technology in rural China. Design/methodology/approach– Using data from China Health and Nutrition Survey for the period of 1991-2009, the authors document gender patterns of school enrollments of children aged between 7 and 18 years. The authors estimate the impact of phone and internet access on school enrollments of children using a probit model. Findings– The results indicate that the spread of phone and internet access both contribute to an increase in enrollment of females. Naturally, the gender gap in enrollments is not simply shaped by technology, and social norms also play an important role. Consequently, the results also show that enrollment of females is lower in the communities where pro-son preference is stronger, holding technology and other factors constant. Originality/value– The authors conclude that promoting further development of telecommunications services may result in narrowing the school enrollment gender gap in rural China. This conclusion is valuable in setting governmental policies as well as guiding the actions of NGOs.

Journal

China Agricultural Economic ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: May 3, 2016

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