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To train or to educate? Evidence from Tanzania

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  • Francis Teal
  • Godius Kahyarara
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    Abstract

    In this paper we ask how the returns to academic education compare with the return to two types of training drawing on labour force data from Tanzania`s manufacturing sector. The first is vocational training or attending a technical college as part of schooling, the second is on-the-job training in a firm. There has been much dispute in the literature as to whether the returns to vocational or academic training are higher. We show that in addressing this question in a schooling system where entry occurs at differing levels it is necessary to allow both for the entry level into vocation or technical school and for the characteristics of the firm in which the worker is employed. If the firm fixed effect captures a substantial element of unobserved worker quality then the return to vocational education, at the level at which it occurs, exceeds that on academic education. However as the return to education rises with its level the return to any form of vocational training is less than that achieved by those who reach A-Level and above. While those with current training earn more this effect disappears once we allow for firm fixed effects. One interpretation of this result is that the effects of the training get embodied in the quality of the workforce. The paper highlights the importance of panel data which enables the effects of such unobservables to be identified in assessing returns to both vocational education and training.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number GPRG-WPS-051.

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    Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:gprg-wps-051

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    Keywords: Vocational and General Education in Tanzania; Manufacturing; Training;

    References

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    1. Moenjak, Thammarak & Worswick, Christopher, 2003. "Vocational education in Thailand: a study of choice and returns," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 99-107, February.
    2. Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Anthony Wambugu & Godius Kahyarara, 2004. "The Dynamics of Returns to Education in Kenyan and Tanzanian Manufacturing," Development and Comp Systems 0409041, EconWPA.
    3. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
    5. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
    6. Paul Bennell, 1996. "General versus vocational secondary education in developing countries: A review of the rates of return evidence," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 230-247.
    7. Marcel Fafchamps & Måns Söderbom & Najy Benhassine, 2006. "Job Sorting in African Labor Markets," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2006-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Wambugu, Anthony, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity and the relation between earnings and firm size: evidence from two developing countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 153-159, May.
    9. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    10. Francis Teal & Geeta Kingdon & Justin Sandefur, 2005. "Labor Market Flexibility, Wages and Incomes in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-030, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kuepie, Mathias & Nordman, Christophe J. & Roubaud, François, 2009. "Education and earnings in urban West Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 491-515, September.

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