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(In)equality in Education and Economic Development

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  • Zagler, Martin
  • Sauer, Petra

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between economic development and the average Level of education as well as the degree of inequality in the distribution of education, respectively. Approaching this question in a dynamic panel over 60 years and 143 countries with a system GMM estimator reveals strong support for the inclusion of an interaction term between the education Gini coeffcient and average years of schooling, indicating the existence of nonlinear effects. We contribute to the literature in providing strong evidence that more schooling is good for economic growth - irrespective of its distribution - but that the coeffcient is variable and substantially declining in inequality. On the other hand, inequality is positively related to economic growth for low average levels of education, whereas highly educated countries exhibit a statistically insignificant negative relationship between inequality and economic growth. From this it follows that at least a slight increase in the degree of inequality is necessary in order to haul initially poor and low educated economies out of the poverty trap. However, as economies become educated, the effect of educational inequality mainly works indirectly. Accordingly, countries that show greater educational inequality experience lower macro economic returns to education than more equal economies, on average. (authors' abstract)

Suggested Citation

  • Zagler, Martin & Sauer, Petra, 2014. "(In)equality in Education and Economic Development," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 163, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wus005:4078
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Neidhöfer, 2019. "Intergenerational mobility and the rise and fall of inequality: Lessons from Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(4), pages 499-520, December.
    2. Raggl, Anna K., 2014. "Economic growth in Ghana : determinants and prospect," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6750, The World Bank.
    3. Jean-François Brun & Constantin Thierry Compaore, 2021. "Public Expenditures Efficiency On Education Distribution in Developing Countries," Working Papers hal-03116615, HAL.
    4. Thomas Ziesemer, 2016. "Gini Coefficients of Education for 146 Countries, 1950-2010," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 1-8.
    5. Xinxin Wang & Jingjing Hong & Pengpeng Fan & Shidan Xu & Zhixian Chai & Yubo Zhuo, 2021. "Is China’s urban–rural difference in population aging rational? An international comparison with key indicators," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 1866-1891, September.
    6. Kanwal, Ayesha & Munir, Kashif, 2015. "The Impact of Educational and Gender Inequality on Income Inequality in South Asia," MPRA Paper 66661, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; economic growth; distribution of education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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