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Where has all the education gone in sub-Saharan Africa? employment and other outcomes among secondary school and university leavers

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  • Samer Al-Samarrai
  • Paul Bennell

Abstract

Anecdotal evidence and generalisations abound concerning the employment outcomes of secondary school and university leavers, but there is very little solid, accurate information on what these groups in African countries do after they have completed their education. Using tracer surveys, this paper presents comprehensive time-series information on the activity profiles of representative samples of secondary school leavers and university graduates in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The paper shows that much of the anecdotal evidence surrounding the labour market outcomes of these groups is spurious. While employment outcomes are generally much better than expected, the tracer surveys highlight the enormous challenges of educating and subsequently utilising secondary school leavers and university graduates in an efficient and effective manner in low-income African countries. In particular, given the paucity of new employment opportunities in the formal sector, much more needs to be done in order to ensure that both these groups are better prepared for productive self-employment, especially in high growth and higher skill activities.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220380701526592
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 43 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1270-1300

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:43:y:2007:i:7:p:1270-1300

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  1. Samer Al-Samarrai & Barry Reilly, 2005. "Education, Employment and Earnings of Secondary School-Leavers in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracer Study," PRUS Working Papers 31, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
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Cited by:
  1. Kodila-Tedika , Oasis, 2014. "Forget your gods: African evidence on the relation between state capacity and cognitive ability of leading politicians," European Economic Letters, European Economics Letters Group, vol. 3(1), pages 7-11.
  2. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Hagen, Rune Jansen & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2012. "Do non-enforceable contracts matter? Evidence from an international lab experiment," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 2/2012, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics, revised 03 Apr 2012.
  3. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Hagen, Rune Jansen & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2012. "DO NON-ENFORCEABLE CONTRACTS MATTER? EVIDENCE FROM AN INTERNATIONAL LAB EXPERIMENT Department," Working Papers in Economics 16/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  4. André Mollick, 2011. "The world elasticity of labor substitution across education levels," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 769-785, December.

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