Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Morshed, AKM M


Chapter one of my dissertation examines the nature, scope, and plausible determinants of gender discrimination in allocating household resources by examining the education expenditure on boys' and girls' education in Iraq. Using data from the household expenditure survey conducted in 2007, as expected, we find a strong male bias in household resource allocation in Iraq. However, there exist considerable variations in this bias depending on the age of the child, income level of the household, rural-urban divide, and the regions of Iraq. These results suggest that parents' allocation of resources for education expenditure for boys and girls is motivated by the economic interest of the households. This suggests that changing the incentive structure such as targeted employment opportunities for women, better access to childcare and health care, and better physical and social infrastructure would help attain gender equality.In my second chapter, we attempted to examine the differences in the spending patterns of households receiving remittances and the households receiving no remittances. This is an important area of research since the use of the workers' remittances is a hotly debated issue as some researchers argue that the flow of remittances increases only consumption expenditure while others suggest that some parts of the remittances are used for investment purposes (spending on education and health). We, however, examine the effects of both internal and international remittances on the spending patterns of the remittances receiving households. Since selection bias is a crucial issue, we adopt a two stage multinomial logit model to identify the marginal effects of remittances on the budget shares of the households. Our selection bias corrected estimates indicate that there exist crucial differences in the marginal effect on spending on food, education, housing, and health depending on the source of remittances. In the third chapter, I examine the effects of the changes in political regime on the extent of gender discrimination in educational spending in a conservative society, Iraq. Generally, we assume that conservative societies may deliberately or unconsciously practice gender bias. To determine the changes in the degree of gender bias in such societies we need a comprehensive individual and family level database, which is not immediately available for most of these societies. Fortunately, Iraq recently completed Living Standards and Measurement Study (LSMS) twice, one in 2006 and one in 2012, where a nationally representative household and individual level data were collected by the Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology (COSIT) and Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office (KRSO).




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