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The effects of adult literacy on earnings and employment


  • de Baldini Rocha, Maúna Soares
  • Ponczek, Vladimir


This paper provides evidence of the effects of adult literacy on individuals' income and employability in Brazil based on information obtained from the monthly employment survey (PME). The OLS results indicate that after controlling for observable characteristics, there is a 21.25% increase in wages for individuals who become literate; however, there is no significant impact on employability. Moreover, the findings show an 8.1% increase in the probability of being employed in the formal sector. We also explore the longitudinal structure of the dataset to control for unobservable fixed characteristics of individuals. The fixed-effects estimators show smaller effects compared to the OLS estimators. We find that literacy has a 4.4% effect on wages and a 4.3% impact on the probability of being formally employed. The effects are significantly different from zero.

Suggested Citation

  • de Baldini Rocha, Maúna Soares & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2011. "The effects of adult literacy on earnings and employment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 755-764, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:755-764

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Isphording, Ingo E., 2014. "Language and Labor Market Success," IZA Discussion Papers 8572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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