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To What Extent are African Education Policies Pro-poor?

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  • Jean-Claude Berthélemy

Abstract

This paper discusses the distributional consequences of education policies in developing countries, with a specific emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. We show that human capital is particularly unequally distributed in sub-Saharan African countries and in Middle-East and North Africa and South Asian regions as well. To obtain this conclusion, we build an analytical framework in which the effects of the level and of the structure of human capital are separated, which provides a way to correct data for the inevitable correlation that exists between the aggregate level of human capital and its concentration. We provide further evidence, based on sub-Saharan African schooling structure data, that these countries pay, relatively speaking, little attention to primary education, to the benefit of secondary education. We interpret this bias as the result of specific institutional characteristics of sub-Saharan Africa, which are deeply-rooted in its history (in particular its post-colonial legacy), its demography and its geography. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Claude Berthélemy, 2006. "To What Extent are African Education Policies Pro-poor?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(3), pages 434-469, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:434-469
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lopez, Ramon & Thomas, Vinod & Yan Wang, 1998. "Addressing the education puzzle : the distribution of education and economic reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2031, The World Bank.
    2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    3. Denis Cogneau & Charlotte Guénard, 2003. "Colonization, Institutions, and Inequality, A note on some suggestive evidence," Working Papers DT/2003/05, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
    5. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
    6. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    7. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
    8. Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1983. "Educational Expansion and the Kuznets Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1132-1136, December.
    9. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 187-200, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Guillaumont & Laurent Wagner, 2014. "Aid Effectiveness for Poverty Reduction: Lessons from Cross‑country Analyses, with a Special Focus on Vulnerable Countries," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 22(HS01), pages 217-261.
    2. Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2009. "Aid effectiveness for poverty reduction: macroeconomic overview and emerging issues," Working Papers P05, FERDI.
    3. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2010. "The Kuznets Curve of Education: A Global Perspective on Education Inequalities," CEE Discussion Papers 0116, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    4. Mamoon, Dawood, 2017. "Skilled-Unskilled Wage Asymmetries as an Outcome of Skewed International Trade Patterns in the South," MPRA Paper 82449, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dawood Mamoon, 2015. "How May International Trade affect Poverty in a Developing Country Setup? The Inequality Channel," International Journal of Economics and Empirical Research (IJEER), The Economics and Social Development Organization (TESDO), vol. 3(5), pages 230-244, May.
    6. Dawood Mamoon, 2012. "Do schooling years improve the earning capacity of lower income groups?," International Journal of Education Economics and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(1), pages 1-9.
    7. Mamoon, Dawood, 2017. "Why International Trade Cause Inequality in Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 82268, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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