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Isolated and Proximate Illiteracy And Why these Concepts Matter in Measuring Literacy and Designing Education Programmes

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  • Kaushik Basu
  • James E.Foster

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • S. Subramanian

Abstract

Traditionally, a society's literacy has been measured by the 'literacy rate' or the percent of the adult population that is literate. The present paper maintains that the distribution on literates across households also matters, due to the external effects of literacy - the benefits that illiterate members of a household derive from having a literate person in the family. The authors review this argument, draw out its policy implications and present some suggestive data from Bangladesh to lend substance to the hypothesis that an illiterate belonging to a household with no literates in more deprived than an illiterate belonging to a household with at least one literate member.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu00-w02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2000
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0002.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0002

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E., 1998. "On measuring literacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1997, The World Bank.
  2. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
  3. Basu, Kaushik & Narayan, Ambar & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Is knowledge shared within households?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2261, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Sreenivasan Subramanian, 2011. "Inter-group Disparities in the Distributional Analysis of Human Development: Concepts, Measurement, and Illustrative Applications," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 27-52, March.
  3. Husain, Zakir & Dutta, Mousumi & Ghosh, Sriparna, 2011. "Contraceptive use among illiterate women in India: does proximate illiteracy matter?," MPRA Paper 30790, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Asfaw, Abay & Admassie, Assefa, 2004. "The role of education on the adoption of chemical fertiliser under different socioeconomic environments in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 215-228, May.
  5. M. Venkatanarayana, 2004. "Educational deprivation of children in Andhra Pradesh, levels and trends," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India 362, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  6. Dutta, Indranil, 2004. "Generalized measures of literacy," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 69-80, July.
  7. Lee, Travis, 2007. "Benchmarking the Effective Literacy Rate," Working Papers, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics 07-13, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  8. Lindelow, Magnus, 2004. "Health care decisions as a family matter - intra-household education externalities and the utilization of health services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3324, The World Bank.

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