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Credit constraints in education: Evidence from international data

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This paper tests empirically the credit-constraints thesis by using cross-country data on secondary and higher-education enrolment rates. Contrary to some previous works in this direction, we find several pieces of evidence that support the importance of such a thesis. First, controlling for the effects of both economic development and educational inequality, we find that school enrolments are negatively correlated with income inequality and positively correlated with financial-market development. Second, these correlations are robust to the specific country-effects, the composition of the sample of countries, and the inclusion of public education expenditures. Finally, public education expenditures are significantly correlated with school enrolment ratios. Distinguishing developed countries from developing ones reveals that the effects of both social and material factors are larger in rich countries than in poor ones. Our estimation results also show that the way public expenditures are allocated across educational levels affects enrolment ratios in higher educational stages. Specifically, countries where expenditure allocations are biased in favour of the advanced stages of education at the expense of the basic levels also experience low enrolment ratios in the higher levels of education.

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Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): (May)
Pages: 33-60

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Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:11:y:2008:n:1:p:33-60
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