Education Gender Gaps in Pakistan: Is the Labor Market to Blame?

This article tests one—the labor market—explanation for gender gaps in
education in Pakistan.1 On the basis of the investment motive, it contends
that if the labor market rewards men’s schooling more than women’s or if it
more generally discriminates between the two genders, parents may have an
incentive to invest more in boys’ education. In this study, I test whether the
rewards to females are less than those to males in Pakistan’s labor market,
that is, whether the return to educating females is lower than that for men.
I also ask more generally whether there is wider gender-differentiated treatment
in the labor market, that is, whether much or all of the gender gap in earnings
is explained by measurable differences in male and female characteristics.