1st Edition

Human Capital and Gender Inequality in Middle-Income Countries Schooling, Learning and Socioemotional Skills in the Labour Market

    262 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The role of cognitive and socioemotional skills alongside education in determining people’s success in the labour market has been the topic of a growing body of research - but previous studies have mostly missed middle-income countries and the developing world because measures of those skills and data on employment and earnings on large enough samples of adults have typically not been available.

    Using comparable survey data on these schooling, skills and labour market outcomes from 13 developing and emerging economies worldwide, this book revisits human capital and gender inequality models. It presents new estimates of the returns to different levels of schooling as well as cognitive and socioemotional skills for women and men. It examines whether those returns are due to levels of human capital or to structural bias in labour markets, and how these two factors work across the earnings spectrum. The book examines the existence of 'glass ceilings' and 'sticky floors' for women using this expanded measure of human capital. Further, by analyzing a group of countries of wide-ranging levels of economic development and socio-political contexts, the book reveals patterns and insights into how context mediates the relationship between skills and gender gaps in labour market outcomes.

    This book will be of interest to scholars of human capital and gender inequality in the labour market and development economics, as well as gender and development policy makers.

    1.Human capital, gender and labour markets 2. A human capital model of gender inequality in the workplace 3. The premium to education and cognitive skills 4. The premium to socioemotional skills in the labour market 5. Education and skills, glass ceilings and sticky floors 6. Human capital: Challenges and roads to gender equality  Appendices


    Elizabeth M. King is Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.

    Dileni Gunewardena is Professor of Economics at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and Non-resident Fellow, Verité Research, Sri Lanka.

    "This is a very timely volume. The importance of gender equality cannot be overemphasized given the historical low participation of women in schooling and in the labour market. The volume also provides great insights on the differential impact of socioemotional skills on labour market outcomes."
    Jane Mariara, Executive Director, Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP).

    "This book by Elizabeth King and Dileni Gunewardena analyzes gender differences in educational human capital and their effects on the labor earnings gaps observed across different income levels and in a diverse set of country circumstances. The authors draw attention to the role of cognitive and socioemotional skill components of human capital in informing such earnings gaps in addition to the conventional measure of years of schooling. Using primary survey data of 13 countries and innovative quantitative methods and interpretations, the book provides solid evidence on the simultaneous and stubborn presence of "glass ceilings" and "sticky floors" experienced by women in different parts of the world. This book will be found very useful to students of gender economics, labor economists, policy practitioners, and gender activists."
    Binayak Sen, Director-General, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies