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Mass education or a minority well educated elite in the process of growth: The case of India

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  • Castelló-Climent, Amparo
  • Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop

Abstract

This paper analyzes whether mass education is more growth enhancing in developing countries than having a minority well educated elite. Using Indian Census data as a benchmark and enrollment rates at different levels of education, we compute annual attainment levels for a panel of 16 Indian states from 1961 to 2001. Results indicate that if the reduction in illiteracy stops at the primary level of education, it is not worthwhile for growth. Instead, the findings reveal a strong and significant effect on growth of a greater share of population completing tertiary education. The economic impact is also found to be large: a one percent change in tertiary education has the same effect on growth as a 13% decrease in illiteracy rates. A sensitivity analysis shows the results are unlikely to be driven by omitted variables, structural breaks, reverse causation or atypical observations.

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  • Castelló-Climent, Amparo & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2013. "Mass education or a minority well educated elite in the process of growth: The case of India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 303-320.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:303-320
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.03.012
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    2. Gille, Véronique, 2015. "Distribution of human capital and income: An empirical study on Indian States," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 239-256.
    3. Shweta Bahl & Ajay Sharma, 2021. "Education–Occupation Mismatch and Dispersion in Returns to Education: Evidence from India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 251-298, January.
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    6. Paola Azar Dufrechou, 2018. "Higher education and economic development: can public funding restrain the returns from tertiary education?," Working Papers wpdea1802, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    7. Chatterjee, Arpita, 2017. "Endogenous comparative advantage, gains from trade and symmetry-breaking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 102-115.
    8. Arpita Chatterjee, 2014. "Endogenous Comparative Advantage, Gains From Trade and Symmetry-Breaking," Discussion Papers 2014-18, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    9. Vikrant Shirodkar & Alexander T. Mohr, 2015. "Resource Tangibility and Foreign Firms’ Corporate Political Strategies in Emerging Economies: Evidence from India," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 55(6), pages 801-825, December.
    10. William F. Maloney & Felipe Valencia Caicedo, 2017. "Engineering Growth: Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas," CESifo Working Paper Series 6339, CESifo.
    11. Burzynski, Michal & Deuster, Christoph & Docquier, Frédéric, 2020. "Geography of skills and global inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distribution of education; Attainment levels; Economic growth; Panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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