Gender Disparities in Education and Labor Markets: Philippine Case

Dr. Marites Tiongco, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Dr. Yanyan Liu, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Dr. Futoshi Yamauchi, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
13 September 2011

Women, more progressive in education than men, study say

Contrary to the more common idea that males are superior to females, a study by Dr. Marites Tiongco and Dr. Futoshi Yamauchi of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) highlighted that in the Philippines, women are more progressive in education than men.

Dr. Tiongco presented their study Why Women are More Progressive in Education as part of SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series in 13 September 2011. Theirresearch was oneof two studies on Gender Disparities in Human Capital, Labor Markets, and Family Arrangement in the Philippines.

According to this study, females aged 20 to 49 tend to advance in schooling more than males. Because of this, females usually have the advantage in qualifying for and completing their tertiary education, Dr. Tiongco shared.

However, in the labor market, females receive lower wages compared to males. According to Dr. Tiongco, this could be a motivating factor whyfemales strive to achieve higher levels of education. On the other hand, males, who have the advantage in the labor market earnings, might consider education as less important.

She also said that compared to parents’ investments in sons, investments in their daughters’ schooling have bigger impacts on their own incomes since, compared to males, females share a larger part of their income with their parents.

The data used in the study were gathered from eight provinces: Antique, Ifugao, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Iloilo, Nueva Vizcaya, Cebu, and Western Samar. [i]

School intervention and gender

The second study on Gender Disparities was Dr. Yamauchi and Dr. Yanyan Liu’s paper titled Long Term Impacts of a School Intervention on Schooling and Labor Market Outcomes. The Thid Elementary Education Projectwas implemented by the Department of Education in the Philippines with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank in the period of 2000 to 2006. Itaimed to improve the overall capacity of elementary schools to deliver quality education. Itwas implemented in public elementary schools in the 23 most depressed provinces in the Philippines.

To assess the long term impact of TEEP on schooling and labor market outcomes, the team conducted a unique survey tracking former students who have experienced (and not experienced) the TEEP intervention.

Dr. Liu said that the implementation of TEEP significantly enlarged the differences in education of females. That is, compared to males, the number of years of education completed by females increased and the number of repetitions in high school decreased. Also, with the implementation of TEEP, the likelihoodof college entry is significantly enlarged between females and males. Interestingly, the impact on wages is also found to be significantly positive only among females.

The above findings are consistent with features observed in the Philippine the labor market: Returns to schooling are higher for females than males, whereas males receive higher wages if not educated. That is, females have a greater incentive to study at school. Interestingly, the TEEP intervention widened the existing gender gap in favour of females.

Dr. Liu also stressed that as these benefits were observed in females only, additional studies should be made to understand why males did not benefit from the TEEP.[ii] (Faith Ocampo)


[i]Yamauchi, FutoshiandTiongco, Marites, 2012. "Why women are progressive in education?: Gender disparities in human capital, labor markets, and family arrangement in the Philippines," IFPRI discussion papers 1155, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

[ii]Yamauchi, Futoshiand Liu, Yanyan, 2011. "Girls take over: Long-term impacts of an early stage education intervention in the Philippines," IFPRI discussion papers 1144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).