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Education Externalities in Rural Ethiopia: Evidence from Average and Stochastic Frontier Production Functions

  • John Knight
  • Sharada Weir

Education will have externality effects in agriculture if, in the course of conducting their own private economic activities, educated farmers raise the productivity of uneducated farmers with whom they come into contact. This paper seeks to determine the potential size and source of such benefits for rural areas of Ethiopia. Average and stochastic frontier production function methodologies are employed to measure productivity and efficiency of farmers. In each case, internal and external returns to schooling are compared. We find that there are substantial and significant externality benefits of education in terms of higher average farm output and a shifting outwards of the production frontier. External benefits of schooling may be several times as high as internal benefits in this regard. However, we are unable to find any evidence of externality benefits to schooling in terms of improvements in technological efficiency in the use of a given technology. This suggests that the source of externalities to schooling is in the adoption and spread of innovations, which shift out the production frontier.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2000-04.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2000-04
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  1. John Knight & Sharada Weir, 2000. "Adoption and Diffusion of Agricultural Innovations in Ethiopia: The Role of Education," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Appleton, S., 2000. "Education and Health at the Household Level in Sub-Saharan Africa," Papers 33, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
  3. Lockheed, Marlaine E & Jamison, Dean T & Lau, Lawrence J, 1987. "Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: Reply," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 643-44, April.
  4. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Sharada Weir, 1999. "The effects of education on farmer productivity in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Croppenstedt, Andre & Muller, Christophe, 2000. "The Impact of Farmers' Health and Nutritional Status on Their Productivity and Efficiency: Evidence from Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(3), pages 475-502, April.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  10. Simon Appleton & Arsene Balihuta, 1996. "Education and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 415-444.
  11. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  13. Battese, George E. & Coelli, Tim J., 1988. "Prediction of firm-level technical efficiencies with a generalized frontier production function and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 387-399, July.
  14. Lockheed, Marlaine E & Jamison, Dean T & Lau, Lawrence J, 1980. "Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 37-76, October.
  15. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  16. Phillips, Joseph M. & Marble, Robert P., 1986. "Farmer education and efficiency: a frontier production function approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 257-264, June.
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