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Cognitive skills among children in Senegal: Disentangling the roles of schooling and family background

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Author Info

  • Glick, Peter
  • Sahn, David E.

Abstract

We use unique data to estimate the determinants of cognitive ability among 14-17-year olds in Senegal. Unlike standard school-based samples, tests were administered to current students as well as to children no longer - or never - enrolled. Years of schooling strongly affects cognitive skills, but conditional on years of school, parental education and household wealth, as well as local public school quality, have surprisingly modest effects on test performance. Instead, family background primarily affects skills indirectly through its impacts on years of schooling. Therefore closing the schooling gaps between poor and wealthy children will also close most of the gap in cognitive skills between these groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 178-188

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:178-188

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: Human capital Demand for schooling Educational economics;

References

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  1. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan, 2004. "When Can School Inputs Improve Test Scores?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-25, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael, 2006. "Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  3. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1986. "Evaluating the Effects of Optimally Distributed Public Programs: ChildHealth and Family Planning Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 470-82, June.
  5. David E. Sahn & David Stifel, 2003. "Exploring Alternative Measures of Welfare in the Absence of Expenditure Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 463-489, December.
  6. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-46, December.
  7. Tan, Jee-Peng & Lane, Julia & Coustere, Paul, 1997. "Putting Inputs to Work in Elementary Schools: What Can Be Done in the Philippines?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(4), pages 857-79, July.
  8. Paul Glewwe & Hanan Jacoby, 1994. "Student Achievement and Schooling Choice in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 843-864.
  9. Michaelowa, Katharina, 2001. "Primary Education Quality in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants of Learning Achievement and Efficiency Considerations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1699-1716, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Felfe, Christina & Deuchert. Eva, 2011. "The tempest: Using a natural disaster to evaluate the link between wealth and child development," Economics Working Paper Series 1146, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  2. Francesca Marchetta & David Sahn, 2012. "The role of education and family background in marriage, childbearing and labor market participation in Senegal," Working Papers halshs-00717813, HAL.
  3. Basu, Kaushik, 2006. "Participatory Equity, Identity, and Productivity: Policy Implications for Promoting Development," Working Papers 06-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  4. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Wretman, Christopher J. & Ansong, David, 2013. "The impact of household possessions on youth's academic achievement in the Ghana Youthsave experiment: A propensity score analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 69-81.
  5. Cyril Pasche, 2008. "What is it About Schooling That the Labor Market Rewards? The Components of the Return to Schooling," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0029, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  6. Huang, Jin, 2013. "Intergenerational transmission of educational attainment: The role of household assets," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 112-123.

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