Education as a driver of income inequality in twentieth-century Africa
AbstractIn this paper, we address the issue of how education affected income inequality in twentieth-century Africa. Three channels are identified through which education may affect income inequality. First, an increase in the average educational level is correlated with an increase in average income, which, ceteris paribus, reduces inequality. Second, a reduction in educational inequality may, given a positive correlation between education level and income, reduce income inequality. Thirdly, an increase in the supply of education may decrease the price of skilled labour thus lowering income inequality. We find that in the long-run education does not affect income growth, indicating that in twentieth-century Africa it was inspiration (i.e., Total Factor Productivity [TFP]) rather than perspiration (i.e., education and physical capital) that drove economic development. Testing for the effects of the remaining two channels, we found a significant non-linear relationship between educational and income inequality suggesting that, contrary to the level of education, these two channels were important in determining income inequality in Africa. Taking an example from the end of the twentieth century, if educational equality had been eliminated, then income inequality would decline by no less than 81%.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 43574.
Date of creation: 20 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Africa; education; history; inequality; economic growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
- O55 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
- N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-01-12 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2013-01-12 (Education)
- NEP-HIS-2013-01-12 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAB-2013-01-12 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paul M Romer, 1999.
"Endogenous Technological Change,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2135, David K. Levine.
- Ewout H.P. Frankema, 2012. "The origins of formal education in sub-Saharan Africa: was British rule more benign?," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 335-355, November.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Milanovic, Branko, 1997. "A simple way to calculate the Gini coefficient, and some implications," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 45-49, September.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002.
"Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995.
"Economic Convergence and Economic Policies,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1715, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0035, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," NBER Working Papers 5039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jutta Bolt & Dirk Bezemer, 2009. "Understanding Long-Run African Growth: Colonial Institutions or Colonial Education?," The Journal of Development Studies, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 24-54.
- Austin, Gareth, 2008. "Resources, techniques and strategies south of the Sahara: revising the factor endowments perspective on African economic development, 1500-2000," Open Access publications from London School of Economics and Political Science http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/, London School of Economics and Political Science.
- Ewout Frankema & Marlous van Waijenburg, 2011. "African Real Wages in Asian Perspective, 1880-1940," Working Papers 0002, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
- Luis Angeles, 2007.
"GDP per capita or Real Wages? Making sense of coflicting views on pre-industrial Europe,"
2007_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
- Angeles, Luis, 2008. "GDP per capita or real wages? Making sense of conflicting views on pre-industrial Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 147-163, April.
- Jan Luiten van Zanden & Joerg Baten & Peter Foldvari & Bas van Leeuwen, 2011. "The Changing Shape of Global Inequality - exploring a new dataset," Working Papers 0001, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
- Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C187-C200, March.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Yousef, Tarik M, 2002. "Egypt's Growth Performance under Economic Liberalism: A Reassessment with New GDP Estimates, 1886-1945," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 561-79, December.
- Theo Eicher & Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Tanguy Ypersele, 2009. "Education, corruption, and the distribution of income," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 205-231, September.
- Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002.
"Returns to investment in education : a further update,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2881, The World Bank.
- George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
- Bas van Leeuwen & Peter Földvari, 2011. "Capital accumulation and growth in Central Europe, 1920-2006," Working Papers 0023, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
- Van Leeuwen, Bas & van Leeuwen-Li, Jieli & Foldvari, Peter, 2011. "Regional human capital in Republican and New China: Its spread, quality and effects on economic growth," MPRA Paper 43582, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.