Economics Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 715419, 8 pages
Research Article

Gender Gaps in Human Capital in Developing Countries: An Empirical Assessment

Department of Economics, Eastern Illinois University, 600 East Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920, USA

Received 21 March 2012; Accepted 30 April 2012

Academic Editor: Colin C. Williams

Copyright © 2012 Minh Quang Dao. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper examines the impact of various determinants on gender gaps in human capital in developing countries. We find that female primary completion is dependent on per capita GDP growth, female employment in agriculture, in industry, and in services, and the interactions between per capita GDP growth and female employment in industry and in services. We are also able to show that the ratio of girls to boys’ enrollments in primary and secondary schools is a function of the poverty rate, the fraction of the population with access to an improved water source, and maternal mortality. In addition, we observe that girls’ mortality is dependent upon the fraction of the population having access to improved sanitation and water services, and ethnic fractionalization. Finally, we find that maternal mortality is a function of the fraction of the population with access to improved water services, the fraction of births attended by skilled staff, the fraction of women receiving prenatal care, and ethnic fractionalization. These statistical results can assist developing countries identify areas that need to be improved upon in order to reduce gender gaps in human capital—specifically those concerning female mortality and education.