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International Comparisons of Educational Attainment

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  • Robert J. Barro
  • Jong-Wha Lee

Abstract

Many theories of economic growth stress the role of human capital in the form of education, but empirical studies have been hampered by inadequate data. We describe a data set on educational attainment that we have constructed for 129 countries over five-year periods from 1960-1985. We use census/survey information to fill over 40% of the cells, and we use school enrollment figures in a perpetual-inventory framework to fill the remainder. The data refer to male and female attainment of the adult population at four levels: no-schooling. primary. secondary, and higher. We also provide a rough breakdown into incomplete and complete attainment at the three levels of schooling. We then take account of cross-country variations in the durations of schooling at each level to provide figures on total years of attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4349
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lau, Lawrence J. & Jamison, Dean T. & Louat, Frederic F., 1991. "Education and productivity in developing countries : an aggregate production function approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 612, The World Bank.
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    3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    4. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
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    6. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Returns To Women'S Education," Papers 603, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    7. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    8. De Tray, Dennis N, 1973. "Child Quality and the Demand for Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 70-95, Part II, .
    9. Romer, Paul M., 1990. "Human capital and growth: Theory and evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 251-286, January.
    10. Tilak, J.B.G., 1989. "Education And Its Relation To Economic Growth, Poverty, And Income Distribution - Past Evidence And Further Analysis," World Bank - Discussion Papers 46, World Bank.
    11. Kyriacou, George A., 1991. "Level and Growth Effects of Human Capital: A Cross-Country Study of the Convergence Hypothesis," Working Papers 91-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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