Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Yaron Raviv

Reader 2

Heather Antecol

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Rights Information

© 2017 Qianyun Gao


This paper examines the gender gap in human capital investment in India from the perspective of intra-household bargaining. I test whether the existing gender disparity in bargaining power, in the form of educational attainment of parents, contributes to the differences in educational expenditure between sons and daughters. As the proxy for bargaining power, fathers’ and mothers’ educational attainments both have a positive impact on the human capital investment for the children, but the gender gap widens with fathers’ education and narrows with mothers’. The results are robust controlling for additional variables such as age, number of siblings, household income, caste and location. These findings suggest that mothers may have a preference for daughters’ education. When their bargaining power rises, families tend to spend more equal amounts on the education of daughters and sons. Policies aiming at improving gender equality in education should take into account the decision-making process.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.