Parental Resources, Schooling Achievements, and Gender Schooling Gaps: Evidence of Change over 25 years in Rural Guatemala.
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We use village census data and linear regression models to examine changes between 1975 and 2002 in the associations of parental resources with boys' and girls' schooling in four rural Guatemalan villages. Levels of schooling in 1975 were universally low for children 7-17 years. Large increases in schooling achievements occurred between 1975 and 2002. By 2002, schooling levels were comparable for younger boys and girls (7-12 years, N = 3,525) and favored older boys compared to older girls (13-17 years, N = 2,440) by about 0.5 grades. The associations of household standard of living and maternal schooling with schooling among girls diminished over time and became more comparable with these associations among boys, and the associations of household standard of living with schooling among older boys declined and became more comparable with these associations among girls. Thus, as increased social investments reduce the costs of schooling or increase the supply and quality of schooling to families, the magnitudes of the associations between parental resources and children's schooling decline and become more gender equitable at all ages. However, our results show that older boys may benefit more than older girls from social investments in schooling. These changes suggest potential needs to monitor gender gaps in schooling retention among older children, to insure gender equitable access to social investments in schooling, and to encourage parents to invest in schooling as joint measures to achieve greater schooling achievements of girls and boys.
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