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Measuring and Analysing Educational Inequality: The Distribution of Grade Enrolment Rates in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Frankema, Ewout
  • Bolt, Jutta

    (Groningen University)

Cross-country research on educational inequality presents contrasting views on the extent of educational inequality in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The differences in opinion also concern the relation between educational inequality and income inequality. This paper argues that part of the reported results are influenced by the type of inequality indicator applied. Moreover, there may be a separate effect of educational attainment and educational distribution on income inequality, which cannot be discerned properly by conventional indicators (in particular the Gini-coefficient faces this problem). A new indicator of educational distribution, which we coined the grade enrolment ratio, focuses at the distribution of students among consecutive grades in schooling, apart from average years of schooling (attainment). We find that the grade enrolment ratio outperforms the other indicators in explaining cross-country variation in income inequality and accurately assesses Latin American and Sub-Saharan African educational inequality.

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File URL: http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/293057524
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Paper provided by Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen in its series GGDC Research Memorandum with number GD-86.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugggd:gd-86
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  1. David Fielding, 2000. "Why is Africa so Poor? A Structural Model of Economic Development and Income Inequality," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C187-C200, March.
  3. Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in intergenerational mobility in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026, October.
  5. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  6. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Donénech, 2000. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 262, OECD Publishing.
  7. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
  8. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2004. "Urban-Rural Inequality in Living Standards in Africa," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Frankema, Ewout, 2006. "The Colonial Origins of Inequality: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Land Distribution," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-81, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  11. 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.
  12. Ram, Rati, 1990. "Educational Expansion and Schooling Inequality: International Evidence and Some Implications," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 266-74, May.
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