Gender Gap in Intergenerational Educational Persistence: Can Compulsory Schooling Reduce It?
We analyze the impact of an increase in compulsory schooling policy on the gender gap in intergenerational educational persistence using the nationally representative Turkish Adult Education Survey. Prior to the reform, there is a gender gap in the association of parents’ educational attainment with their ofspring’s. Daughters’ educational attainment is more dependent on their parents’ education background. We show that the education reform that increased compulsory schooling from 5 to 8 years reduced the impact of parental education on completion of new compulsory schooling (8 years) and post-compulsory schooling (high school) for both sons and daughters. The gender gap in intergenerational education transmission has decreased by about 5 percentage points in the completion of new compulsory schooling level but remains unchanged at the post-compulsory schooling level after the reform. Heterogeneous effects of the reform indicate that mandating additional years of education is an ineffective intervention in the eastern regions with poorer economic conditions, larger rural population, and more traditional gender views in reducing the gender gap in educational mobility, even at the compulsory level of education.