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Mass education or a minority well educated elite in the process of development: The case of India

  • Amparo Castello-Climent


  • Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay


    (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

This paper analyses whether in developing countries mass education is the key or a highly well educated elite should be more bene?cial for growth. Using the Indian census data as a benchmark and enrollment rates of di!erent levels of schooling we compute annual attainment levels for a panel of 16 Indian states from 1961 to 2001. Results show that one standard deviation increment in the share of population with tertiary education is 3 times more bene?cial for growth than a one standard deviation increment in literacy. Using simulations we consider two alternate policies: one that doubles the increments to the literacy rates (relative to its baseline rate of increase) and another that doubles the annual increments to the share of adult population with tertiary education. We show that at the end of 35 years, the state following the latter policy has a per capita GDP 1.5 time more than the state that emphasizes the former.

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Paper provided by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers with number 10-08.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:10-08
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