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Health and Schooling Investments in Africa

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  • T. Paul Schultz

    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

Regressions across countries from 1960 to 1995 are discussed to document African poor performance in terms of infant and child mortality, life expectation, and school enrollment rates, controlling for national income, women's and men's schooling, and urbanization. It is concluded that intercountry regressions do not yet help us determine the consequences of this shortfall in these forms of human capital investments on the region's economic growth. The paper then examines microeconomic estimates based on household surveys of the productive payoff in Sub-Saharan Africa to nutrition and health, as proxied by adult height and weight-for-height, and to education, proxied by years of schooling completed, by level. Biases due to household heterogeneity and sample selection are assessed in the cases of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. Political restrictions in South Africa before 1993 are interpreted as accounting for the low levels of educational attainment of nonwhites, and these quotas offer a supply explanation for the corresponding high rates of return to secondary and post-secondary schooling for those nonwhites who still managed to obtain such an education. Studies evidence is then considered on the wage returns to variation in the local quality of schooling, which appear to benefit disproportionately the above-average income households in Africa, as in most other low-income settings.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Paul Schultz, 1999. "Health and Schooling Investments in Africa," Working Papers 801, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:801
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schultz, T Paul, 1994. "Human Capital, Family Planning, and Their Effects on Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 255-260, May.
    2. T. Paul Schultz, 1998. "Inequality in the distribution of personal income in the world: How it is changing and why," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(3), pages 307-344.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, December.
    4. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084.
    5. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
    6. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    7. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    8. Boissiere, M & Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1985. "Earnings, Schooling, Ability, and Cognitive Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1016-1030, December.
    9. Schultz, T. Paul & Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Wage and labor supply effects of illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana: instrumental variable estimates for days disabled," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 251-286, August.
    10. Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Schooling Attainment, Parental Education, and Gender in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(4), pages 825-856, July.
    11. Benefo, Kofi & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Fertility and Child Mortality in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 123-158, January.
    12. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023, Elsevier.
    13. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
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    15. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
    16. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
    17. van der Gaag, Jacques & Vijverberg, Wim, 1988. "A Switching Regression Model for Wage Determinants in the Public and Private Sectors of a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 244-252, May.
    18. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
    19. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Schooling; Health; Returns; Quality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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