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Women’s education and work in China: the menstrual cycle and the power of water

Maimaiti, Yasheng (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This study investigates the joint impact of menstrual cycle and poor access to water on women’s education and labour market outcomes. The research context is chosen to be rural China. Two parallel hypotheses that are tested in this study are as follows: (1) Girls have less probability of school enrolment and shorter schooling duration due to the joint impact of poor access to water and menarche presumably because that poor access to water may raise time/health/psychic costs of school enrolment for girls post-menarche. (2) Women have less probability of participating in work for wages due to the joint impact of poor access to water and menstrual cycle presumably because that poor access to water may generate lower productivity and raise time/health/psychic costs of wage work participation for women pre-menopause. For testing, the researcher uses the data from rural villages in the China Health and Nutrition Survey. This study conducts two sets of empirical tests on each of the above hypotheses using regression models and propensity score matching estimators. It is found that the joint impact of poor access to water and menstrual cycle is indeed largely adverse on women’s education and wage work participation. When the impacts of other confounding factors such as poverty and backward geographical location are controlled for, access to poor water is found to decrease the probability of school enrolment of post-menarche girls by 20 – 25 percentage points, and the probability of wage work participation of women premenopause by about 10 percentage points. This study concludes that a major benefit of policies to improve water supplies may not be the obvious household or industrial benefit, but rather an unseen benefit, the improvement in the position of women

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Siebert, W. S.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Business School
Subjects:HC Economic History and Conditions
HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:790
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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