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International Comparisons of Educational Attainment

  • Robert J. Barro
  • Jong-Wha Lee

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4349.

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Date of creation: Apr 1993
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Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 32, no. 3 (1993): 363-394.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4349
Note: EFG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Summers, Lawrence H., 1992. "Investing in all the people," Policy Research Working Paper Series 905, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. De Tray, Dennis N, 1973. "Child Quality and the Demand for Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S70-95, Part II, .
  6. 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.
  7. 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 S279-88, Part II, .
  8. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  9. George Psacharopoulos, 1985. "Returns to Education: A Further International Update and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 583-604.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  11. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Returns To Women'S Education," Papers 603, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  12. 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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