IZA DP No. 13402: Less School (Costs), More (Female) Education? Lessons from Egypt Reducing Years of Compulsory Schooling
Exploiting a unique policy reform in Egypt that reduced the number of years of compulsory schooling, we show how it unexpectedly increased education attainment as more students chose to complete the next school stage. This impact is almost entirely driven by girls from more disadvantaged households. Treated women later experienced important positive improvements in labor market opportunity and marriage quality, as measured by bride price received and household bargaining power. We attribute the increased investment in daughters' human capital to changes in the behavior of credit-constrained families facing reduced school costs combined with strongly non-linear returns to female education.