In rural societies, passing down land and providing an education are the main ways parents assure the future welfare of their children. If, however, parents educate their sons and not their daughters and only sons inherit land, women will be worse off compared to men. Is the distribution of income and welfare between men and women changing? While many studies have documented that education of women is increasing in developing countries, evidence on changes in women's land rights is scarce. Knowing how men and women acquire land and human capital is the basis for determining the extent of this gender problem and how to solve it. The authors of this book identify the factors affecting land inheritance and schooling across generations in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Ghana-countries with very different social and cultural traditions. Based on household surveys at each site, the authors examine how these factors affect the distribution of income and spending in the household as a whole and among its individual members. They look at how these differences in land holdings and education affect what sons and daughters will earn over their lifetimes.
To help right gender imbalances, the authors consider policies to encourage adoption of labor-intensive agricultural technologies, to extend and strengthen school systems in rural areas, to promote competition in off-farm labor markets, and to eliminate discrimination against women. The authors conclude that there is no conflict between policies to enhance the efficiency of investments in land and human capital and policies to promote gender equity. The broad-based analysis will interest scholars in economics, anthropology, gender studies, sociology, and area studies.
Agnes R. Quisumbing is a senior research fellow at IFPRI. Jonna P. Estudillo is an assistant professor of economics at the University of the Philippines School of Economics, Quezon City. Keijiro Otsuka is a professorial fellow at the Foundation for Advanced Studies in International Development, Tokyo, Japan.
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