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Education For All: A Welfare-Improving Course for Africa?

  • Elisabeth Caucutt

    (University of Western Ontario)

  • Krishna B. Kumar

    (Duke University)

In this paper, we argue that the case for universal compulsory education for sub-Saharan Africa might have been overstated. We capture the African situation through a heterogeneous-agent model, in which high costs of education relative to income and the skill premium cause the economy to stagnate in a low steady state with minimal educational attainment. We calibrate the model to available data from the sub-Saharan African countries to study education policies. We find that a tax and in-kind subsidy scheme that effectively redistributes resources from households with lower ability children to those with higher ability children outperforms enrollment-maximizing policies such as the abolition of child labor and compulsory education. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.11.003
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 294-326

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-75
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  1. Kumar, Krishna B., 2003. "Education And Technology Adoption In A Small Open Economy: Theory And Evidence," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 586-617, September.
  2. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  3. Bigsten, Arne, et al, 2000. "Rates of Return on Physical and Human Capital in Africa's Manufacturing Sector," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 801-27, July.
  4. Dirk Krueger & Jessica Tjornhom Donohue, 2005. "On The Distributional Consequences Of Child Labor Legislation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 785-815, 08.
  5. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
  6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  8. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  10. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  11. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Krishna B. Kumar, 2000. "Higher Education Subsidies and Heterogeneity, A Dynamic Analysis," RCER Working Papers 472, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-46, August.
  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
  15. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
  16. Kurosaki, Takashi & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2002. "Insurance market efficiency and crop choices in Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 419-453, April.
  17. Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 2000. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1588, Econometric Society.
  18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Krishna B. Kumar & John G. Matsusaka, 2004. "Village versus Market Social Capital: An Approach to Development," Development and Comp Systems 0408003, EconWPA.
  20. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  21. Caucutt Elizabeth M & Kumar Krishna B., 2008. "Africa: Is Aid an Answer?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-48, December.
  22. Simon Appleton & John Hoddinott & John MacKinnon, 1996. "Education and health in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 307-339.
  23. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  24. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A, 2002. "An African Success Story: Botswana," CEPR Discussion Papers 3219, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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