IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Disparities in Labor Market Outcomes Across Geopolitical Regions in Nigeria. Fact or Fantasy?


  • Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere

    () (Georgia Institute of Technology)


Questions focused on understanding Africa's lack of growth are not new in economics research. Ethnic fragmentation is one of the many reasons suggested for lack of growth of many developing countries especially in Africa. This is because many countries that are ethnically fragmentized find it difficult agreeing on societal goals and instead, focus on achieving dominance in the political arena of the country. These actions usually lead to: ethnic conflict, corruption, instability and other factors that hamper growth in the long-run. Nigeria is no stranger to the scenario described above. The basis of most ethnic and regional conflicts is claims of the marginalization of particular groups. Documented and anecdotal evidence of marked differences in basic economic and social indicators are usually the starting point for these assertions. However, general perception and beliefs play a role in solidifying these claims. In this paper, evidence of labor market disparities in Nigeria is sought first using descriptive analysis of the data. Subsequently, I test the null hypothesis that there are no significant differences in labor market outcomes across geopolitical regions using econometric techniques. By means of an instrument first suggested by Osilli and Long (2003) but constructed similarly to Uwaifo (2006), I estimate the returns to education using two stage least squares. This instrument is based on the exogenous implementation and withdrawal of free education across regions and states in Nigeria over time. I derive estimates for both Northern and Southern Nigeria.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere, 2008. "Disparities in Labor Market Outcomes Across Geopolitical Regions in Nigeria. Fact or Fantasy?," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 11-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:10:y:2008:i:1:p:11-31

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    4. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2008. "Understanding Low Average Returns to Education in Africa: The Role of Heterogeneity across Education Levels and the Importance of Political and Economic Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 3766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Ogundari, Kolawole, 2012. "Returns to Education Revisited and Effects of Education on Household Welfare in Nigeria," 2012 Conference, August 31, 2012, Nelson, New Zealand 136051, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

    More about this item


    Nigeria; ethnic fragmentation; market disparities; geopolitics; school enrollment;

    JEL classification:

    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:10:y:2008:i:1:p:11-31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mwangi wa Githinji). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.