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A Chinese puzzle: fewer, less empowered, lower paid and better educated women

Abstract : As from 2009 there are more Chinese women than men enrolled in college. To address this question, we propose a simple model with premarital education investment and endogenous marital matching where spouses split the joint revenue. We show that if women are not empowered enough, then neither men nor women obtain tertiary education. Women's education overtake can only arise if they are powerful enough within their marriage, if educated women's salary is sufficiently high and if there are enough educated men to mate. We calibrate our model using data from the Chinese Census in order to solve the Chinese puzzle, i.e. to understand how Chinese women are better educated without being sufficiently empowered. We find our first that despite the overall increase in education for both men and women, and the raise in women's salaries for all education levels, Chinese women have actually not gained power in the markets since the gender wage gap is widening for all levels of education. Second, that women's education is tightly linked to their power within the household. Indeed, the increase in women's education is not due to an increase in women's power, but on the contrary, a measure to counterbalance a striking decrease.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03185541
Contributor : Caroline Bauer <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 1:52:02 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 2, 2021 - 9:21:26 AM

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Carmen Camacho, Yingya Xue. A Chinese puzzle: fewer, less empowered, lower paid and better educated women. 2021. ⟨halshs-03185541⟩

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