Online Program

Gender Differential in Active Life Expectancy in Nepal: Does Education Matter?

*Tirth Bhatta, Case Western Reserve University 
Jessica Kelley-Moore, Case Western Reserve University 

Keywords: Gender, Education, Active Life Expectancy

Drawing from literature on social origins of health, this study investigates the influence of education in shaping gender differences in health and mortality. Prior studies in Nepal have documented gender differences in healthy life expectancy, with men having a higher healthy life expectancy than women. In contrast, overall life expectancy as well as active life expectancy is higher for women in western countries. This contradictory evidence is a reflection of high maternal mortality and lower educational status among women in Nepal. Existing studies in developed and developing countries have reported health consequence of educational resources. However, no study has been conducted to examine the contribution of education to gender differential in active life expectancy in Nepal. Based on the cross-sectional mortality information for 2001 from Census Bureau of Statistics in Nepal and disability prevalence data for 2003 from World Health Survey, this study employs Bayesian extension of Sullivan’s method to investigate the contribution of education to gender differential in active life expectancy. The findings report higher proportion of remaining years of active life for men. At 25 years of age, men with no formal education spend almost 55 percent of their remaining live active, whereas women live 44 percent of their remaining live active. Furthermore, the evidence demonstrates the significance of education in producing gender differences in active life expectancy, with almost 28 percent of such differential attributed to education. This study contributes to the growing literature documenting cross-national differences in the socioeconomic gradient in active life expectancy.