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Does Education Increase Agricultural Productivity in Africa?

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  • Pinckney, Thomas C.

Abstract

Past published studies establishing a significant, positive link between education and agricultural productivity have used Asian data almost exclusively. With one exception, these studies have not checked to see if the positive impact of education comes about only by screening for ability. Using household level data from coffee regions of Kenya and Tanzania, this study finds that households in which the agricultural decision-maker is numerate and literate produce 30 percent more agricultural output, holding other variables constant. This estimate of the impact of education is markedly higher than those made using years of schooling as an independent variable. Increasing cognitive skills beyond basic numeracy and literacy has no additional impact on production. Evidence from Kenya (but not from Tanzania) suggests that reasoning ability and the presence of at least one educated person in the household also increase productivity substantially.

Suggested Citation

  • Pinckney, Thomas C., 1997. "Does Education Increase Agricultural Productivity in Africa?," 1997 Occasional Paper Series No. 7 198196, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaaeo7:198196
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.198196
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/198196/files/agecon-occpapers-1997-036_1_.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moock, Peter R, 1981. "Education and Technical Efficiency in Small-Farm Production," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 723-739, July.
    2. Azhar, Rauf A, 1991. "Education and Technical Efficiency during the Green Revolution in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 651-665, April.
    3. Welch, F, 1970. "Education in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-59, Jan.-Feb..
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    Cited by:

    1. Arndt, Channing, 2002. "HIV/AIDS, human capital, and economic prospects for Mozambique," TMD discussion papers 88, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Arndt, Channing & Wobst, Peter, 2002. "HIV/AIDS and labor markets in Tanzania," TMD discussion papers 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Wobst, Peter & Arndt, Channing, 2004. "HIV/AIDS and Labor Force Upgrading in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1831-1847, November.
    4. Wobst, Peter & Arndt, Channing, 2003. "HIV/AIDS and Primary School Performance in Tanzania," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25870, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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