Gender, race, and attainment in Peninsular Malaysia

Suet Tieng Lim, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation addresses the question of how race and gender interact to affect the participation of women in the economic development of Peninsular Malaysia. Four aspects of opportunities for women were analyzed: labor force participation; educational attainment; occupational attainment; and industrial and occupational sex segregation. Using data from published census reports and the first Malaysian Family Life Survey, this dissertation investigates if demographic and socioeconomic factors affect the behavior of males and females of different races in the same way and to the same degree. Racial differences in female economic behavior were analyzed to determine the role of socioeconomic background. Sex differences in educational and occupational attainment were examined, and individual level analyses were carried out to determine whether and how the distributions were affected by gender. Analysis of determinants of placement in certain occupational categories explains racial differences in employment. Gender--or specifically being a woman--is a handicap; but race--or being a Malay--is not. Women, however, are not suffering from additional disadvantages as the Malaysia develops. Women's gains in education and the economic implications of educational attainment are highly encouraging. In view of the continuing increase in female labor force participation and educational attainment, women in Malaysia, regardless of race, will continue to progress in their economic lives.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Lim, Suet Tieng, "Gender, race, and attainment in Peninsular Malaysia" (1992). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9235171.