IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Deon Filmer
  • Lant Pritchett

The authors use household survey data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from 44 surveys (in 35 countries) to document different patterns in the enrollment and attainment of children from rich and poor households. They overcome the lack of income or expenditure data in the DHS by constructing a proxy for long-run wealth of the household from the asset information in the surveys, using the statistical technique of principal components. There are three major findings. First, the enrollment profiles of the poor differ across countries but fall into distinctive regional patterns: in some regions the poor reach nearly universal enrollment in first grade, but then drop out in large numbers leading to low attainment (typical of South America), while in other regions the poor never enroll in school (typical of South Asia and Western/Central Africa). Second, there are enormous differences across countries in the "wealth gap," the difference in enrollment and educational attainment of the rich and poor. While in some countries the difference in the median years of school completed of the rich and poor is only a year or two, in other countries the wealth gap in attainment is 9 or 10 years. Third, the attainment profiles can be used as diagnostic tools to suggest issues in the educational system, such as the extent to which low attainment is attributable to physical unavailability of schools. Copyright 1999 by The Population Council, Inc..

If 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.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

Volume (Year): 25 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 85-120

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:25:y:1999:i:1:p:85-120
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:25:y:1999:i:1:p:85-120. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.