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Intergenerational transfers of human capital: evidence on two types of education externalities


  • Sharada Weir


Low enrolment and educational wastage are serious problems in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in rural areas of Ethiopia where participation in formal education is extremely poor. An aspect of both problems is late entry to primary school, which has dire consequences for educational attainment, most notably for girls. This paper provides evidence on the extent of low enrolment and late entry for a sample of rural households and examines the determinants of each. In particular, the importance of parental and neighbourhood education are considered. We find that the education of both parents is important to enrolment and starting time. Furthermore, education of women in the neighbourhood increases the probability of enrolment. This suggests that there are two types of external benefit of schooling in terms of intergenerational transfers of human capital. Given the large gender bias in enrolments in rural Ethiopia, these findings have important implications for educational policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharada Weir, 2000. "Intergenerational transfers of human capital: evidence on two types of education externalities," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2000-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sharada Weir, 2000. "Concealed preferences: parental attitudes to education and enrolment choice in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-01, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Sharada Weir & John Knight, 2000. "Education externalities in rural Ethiopia: evidence from average and stochastic frontier production functions," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Sharada Weir, 1999. "The effects of education on farmer productivity in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Sharada Weir & John Knight, 2000. "Adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations in Ethiopia: the role of Education," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 156-169, February.
    6. Paul Glewwe & Hanan Jacoby, 1994. "Student Achievement and Schooling Choice in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 843-864.
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    1. repec:pit:wpaper:289 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Harper, Caroline & Marcus, Rachel & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Enduring Poverty and the Conditions of Childhood: Lifecourse and Intergenerational Poverty Transmissions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 535-554, March.

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