Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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Support for Gender Stereotypes: Does Madrasah Education Matter?

2018-01-11, Asadullah, M. Niaz, Amin, Sajeda, Chaudhury, Nazmul

This paper examines the influence of the institutional nature of schools on gender stereotyping by exploring contrasts between non-religious and Islamic faith (that is madrasah) schools among secondary school-going adolescents in rural Bangladesh. In particular, differences in gender attitudes across school types are explored to elucidate what about schools matters. Using a uniquely designed survey to assess the influence of school type on student characteristics, we find large differences in stereotypical gender attitudes by school type and student gender. Madrasah students in general, and unrecognized madrasah students in particular, show unfavorable attitudes about women and their abilities compared to their peers in non-religious schools. However, these differences are diminished considerably in ordered probit models suggesting that school-level differences are explained by teacher characteristics such as the nature of teacher training and average family size of teachers. These estimated effects are robust to conditioning on a rich set of family characteristics.

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Religious Schools, Social Values, and Economic Attitudes: Evidence from Bangladesh

2010, Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz, Chaudhury, Nazmul

This paper uses new data on female graduates of registered secondary secular schools and madrasas from rural Bangladesh and tests whether there exist attitudinal gaps by school type and what teacher-specific factors explain these gaps. Even after controlling for a rich set of individual, family, and school traits, we find that madrasa graduates differ on attitudes associated with issues such as working mothers, desired fertility, and higher education for girls, when compared to their secular schooled peers. On the other hand, madrasa education is associated with attitudes that are still conducive to democracy. We also find that exposure to female and younger teacher is associated with more favorable attitudes among graduates.

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Peaceful Coexistence? The Role of Religious Schools and NGOs in the Growth of Female Secondary Schooling in Bangladesh

2013-02-04, Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz, Chaudhury, Nazmul

Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), runs a large number of non-formal primary schools in Bangladesh which target out-of-school children from poor families. These schools are well-known for their effectiveness in closing the gender gap in primary school enrolment. On the other hand, registered non-government secondary madrasas (or Islamic schools) today enrol one girl against every boy student. In this article, we document a positive spillover effect of BRAC schools on female secondary enrolment in registered madrasas. Drawing upon school enrolment data aggregated at the region level, we first show that regions that had more registered madrasas experienced greater secondary female enrolment growth during 1999–2003, holding the number of secular secondary schools constant. In this context we test the impact of BRAC-run primary schools on female enrolment in registered madrasas. We deal with the potential endogeneity of placement of BRAC schools using an instrumental variable approach. Controlling for factors such as local-level poverty, road access and distance from major cities, we show that regions with a greater presence of BRAC schools have higher female enrolment growth in secondary madrasas. The effect is much bigger when compared to that on secondary schools.

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Reverse Gender Gap in Schooling in Bangladesh: Insights from Urban and Rural Households

2009, Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz, Chaudhury, Nazmul

This paper documents a reverse gender gap in secondary schooling outcomes in Bangladesh drawing upon several rounds of nationally representative household survey data. In terms of enrolment status and years of schooling completed, boys are found to lag behind girls in the rural as well as in the urban area. Within the urban sample, the gender gap is widest in the non-metropolitan area. These findings are robust to extensive control for demand and supply-side determinants of schooling and remain unchanged even when we use a within household estimator. We consider one hypothesis, namely gender-differentiated response to a conditional cash transfer program to reconcile the findings of this reverse gender gap.

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Conditional Cash Transfers and Female Schooling : The Impact of the Female School Stipend Programme on Public School Enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan

2010, Chaudhury, Nazmul, Parajuli, Dilip

Instead of mean-tested Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes, some countries have implemented gender-targeted CCTs to explicitly address intra-household disparities in human capital investments. This study focuses on addressing the direct impact of a female school stipend programme in Punjab, Pakistan--Did the intervention increase female enrolment in public schools? To address this question, we draw upon data from the provincial school censuses 2003 and 2005. We estimate the net growth in female enrolments in grade 6-8 in stipend eligible schools. Impact evaluation analysis, including difference-and-difference (DD), triple differencing (DDD) and regression-discontinuity design (RDD), indicate a modest but statistically significant impact of the intervention. The preferred estimator derived from a combination of DDD and RDD empirical strategies suggests that the average programme impact between 2003 and 2005 was an increase of six female students per school in terms of absolute change and an increase of 9% in female enrolment in terms of relative change. A triangulation effort is also undertaken using two rounds of a nationally representative household survey before and after the intervention. Even though the surveys are not representative at the sub-provincial level, the results corroborate evidence of the impact using school census data.

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Holy Alliances : Public Subsidies, Islamic High Schools, and Female Schooling in Bangladesh

2009, Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz, Chaudhury, Nazmul

This paper documents the experience of incentive-based reforms in the secondary Islamic/madrasa education sector in Bangladesh within the context of the broader debate over modernization of religious school systems in South Asia. Key features of the reform are changes of the curriculum and policy regarding admission of female students. In return to formal registration and curriculum modernization, madrasas receive financial aid from the government towards teacher salary. Using a cross-sectional census data-set (containing current and retrospective information) on formal secondary schools and madrasas, we first point out that a significant fraction of the existing post-primary registered madrasas today comprises of 'converts'; that is, formerly all-male, unregistered religious schools that previously offered traditional, religious education. Furthermore, these madrasas have embraced female students in recent years following the introduction of yet another incentive scheme, namely a conditional cash transfer scheme for secondary girls. Drawing upon school enrolment data aggregated at the region level, we show that regions that had more (modernized) madrasas were more likely to achieve gender parity in secondary enrolment during 1999-2003, holding the number of secular secondary schools constant. This finding highlights the previously undocumented role played by religious schools in removing gender disparity in rural Bangladesh.