Essays on Development: Household Income, Education, and Female Political Participation and Representation

Detta är en avhandling från University of Gothenburg

Sammanfattning: The thesis consists of four self-contained papers. Paper 1: The Push Towards UPE and the Determinants of the Demand for Education in Tanzania. This paper uses household data to investigate the determinants of demand for education in Tanzania and tests whether these have changed during the government’s push for Universal Primary Education in the 2000s. We find that the abolition of school fees was followed by an overall increase in enrolment, yet the sustained importance of the household’s consumption, livelihood and education indicates that the socio-economic standing of the household remains an important source of educational inequality. We also include estimated returns to education as an explanatory factor but find no indications that returns determine demand in Tanzania. Paper 2: Households' income-generating activities and marginal returns to labor in rural Tanzania. This study uses detailed household-level data to investigate income and activity diversification among households in rural Tanzania. Unlike previous research on diversification, it explicitly evaluates marginal returns within different activities, aiming to assess whether households are able to allocate labor so as to maximize their incomes, and what factors determine if they do so. The findings indicate that specialization in agriculture is not correlated with household welfare, and that agricultural wage work is a last resort option, as agricultural wage workers also allocate labor to their own farms to such an extent that marginal returns are lower than among others. Furthermore, wage rates are much higher than the agricultural shadow wages, implying that there are gains to be made from expanding the non-farm side of the rural economy. However, there is no evidence that households are stuck in agriculture due to being constrained from entering the existing labor market. While I do not find preferences for own crops being important for labor allocation to farming, work preferences seem to play a role. There is also some evidence that both credit and social networks are important determinants of a household's probability of being stuck in low-return agriculture. Paper 3: The Effects of Gender Quotas in Latin American National Elections. This study investigates the effects of gender quotas in national elections on political participation, public policy, and corruption in Latin America. We are able to replicate the findings from previous research that women in politics do affect these outcomes, but only when we treat the number of women in parliament as exogenous. We argue, however, that the introduction of gender quotas caused an – in this context – exogenous increase in women’s representation, and while we find that quotas in Latin America increased the number of women in parliament, we find no substantial effects beyond mere representation. The mechanisms for these findings are scrutinized, and we find some indication that quota women are not completely marginalized in Latin American parliaments. Hence, increasing women’s representation by means of gender quotas may not result in the same outcomes as an increased representation in non-quota elections. Paper 4: The gender gap in African political participation: Individual and contextual determinants. The aim of this paper is to analyze the factors underlying the gender gap in African electoral and inter-electoral political participation. Drawing on new data covering over 27,000 respondents from 246 regions in 20 emerging African democracies, the empirical findings suggest that while there is a gender gap in both voting and inter-electoral participation, the latter is larger. Whereas several of the investigated individual and contextual characteristics are found to be important determinants of participation, they explain only a very modest share of the observed gender gaps. We do find, however, that gender gaps in education are negatively correlated with female inter-electoral participation and that gender gaps in employment are negatively related to female voting. Interestingly, and contrary to suggestions in previous research, there is no evidence that religiosity at the individual or community level increases the gender differences in political activity.

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