Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women
We study the effects of explosive growth in the Bangladeshi ready-made garments industry on the lives on Bangladeshi women. We compare the marriage, childbearing, school enrollment and employment decisions of women who gain greater access to garment sector jobs to women living further away from factories, to years before the factories arrive close to some villages, and to the marriage and enrollment decisions of their male siblings. Girls exposed to the garment sector delay marriage and childbirth. This stems from (a) young girls becoming more likely to be enrolled in school after garment jobs (which reward literacy and numeracy) arrive, and (b) older girls becoming more likely to be employed outside the home in garment-proximate villages. The demand for education generated through manufacturing growth appears to have a much larger effect on female educational attainment compared to a large-scale government conditional cash transfer program to encourage female schooling.
We are grateful for funding from the National Science Foundation Grant SES-0527751. We thank Treb Allen, David Atkin, Priyanka Anand, Mark Klee, Richard Mansfield, Emily Oster, Owen Ozier, Peter Schott, Gil Shapira, Manisha Shah and seminar participants from the University of Connecticut, University of Washington (Jackson School), Yale University, International Growth Centre, and the Northeast Universities Development Consortium Conference for comments. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the World Bank, its Executive Directors, or the governments of the countries they represent. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Heath, Rachel & Mushfiq Mobarak, A., 2015. "Manufacturing growth and the lives of Bangladeshi women," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 1-15. citation courtesy of