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Is the Rate of Return on Primary Schooling Really 26 Per Cent?

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  • Knight, J B
  • Sabot, R H
  • Hovey, D C

Abstract

It is argued that the conventional wisdom which accords priority to investment at the primary level of education in developing countries may be based on methodologically flawed estimates. The problem arises on account of the "filtering down" of educated entrants to the labour market into lesser jobs as education is expanded. The (conventionally measured) average rate of return is compared with estimates of the marginal rate of return to the entering cohort. An illustration for Kenya shows that the rate of return on primary schooling is highly sensitive to this distinction, whereas that on secondary schooling is not: the hierarchy of returns is reversed. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the jury is still out. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Knight, J B & Sabot, R H & Hovey, D C, 1992. "Is the Rate of Return on Primary Schooling Really 26 Per Cent?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 1(2), pages 192-205, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:1:y:1992:i:2:p:192-205
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Glick & François Roubaud, 2004. "Export Processing Zone Expansion in an African Country: What are the Labor Market and Gender Impacts?," Working Papers DT/2004/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation), revised Dec 2004.
    2. Fields, Gary S., 2011. "Labor market analysis for developing countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 16-22.
    3. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2010. "Africa's education enigma? The Nigerian story," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 128-139, January.
    4. Stefano Pagiola, 1996. "Price policy and returns to soil conservation in semi-arid Kenya," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(3), pages 225-271, October.
    5. Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz, 2006. "Pay differences between teachers and other occupations: Some empirical evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 1044-1065, December.
    6. Uwaifo, Ruth, 2006. "Africa's Education Enigma? The Nigerian story," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21254, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Mwangi S. Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Damiano Kulundu Manda, 2006. "Human Capital Externalities and Private Returns to Education in Kenya," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 493-513, Summer.

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