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An Analysis of Disparities in Education: The Case of Primary School Completion Rates in Bolivia


  • Marcelo Ochoa

    (The World Bank)

  • Alejandra Bonifaz

    (Boston University)


The Education Reform Program launched in the mid-1990s by the Government of Bolivia had important accomplishments, particularly by increasing the coverage of primary education. However, the high rates of coverage observed at national level conceal the inequality in the distribution of schooling across children from different income groups, from indigenous households or even among municipalities from different areas of the country. This document intends to present a brief diagnosis of disparities in education access an attainment exploring data at individual and municipal level. The document finds that children from low-income families, indigenous groups and/or rural areas are less likely to finish primary school. Similar disparities are evident when observing data at municipal level. High poverty incidence, high indigenous-groups concentration and high dispersion of the population, are basic characteristics of municipalities with low primary school completion rates. The document also suggests a simple methodology that allows to identify municipalities that are high performers and low performers. This approach combines quantitative and qualitative analysis and may well bring to light important actions that could be undertaken in the poorly performing school districts to improve their ability to improve their performance

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelo Ochoa & Alejandra Bonifaz, 2003. "An Analysis of Disparities in Education: The Case of Primary School Completion Rates in Bolivia," HEW 0302001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0302001
    Note: Type of Document - Text/PDF format; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 20 ; figures: /request from author/. This is a preliminary draft therefore we would appreciate your comments.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maira Emy Reimão & Emcet O. Taş, 2017. "Gender Education Gaps among Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Groups in Bolivia," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 48(2), pages 228-262, March.
    2. Daniela Zapata & Dante Contreras, 2004. "Child labor in Bolivia: schooling, gender and ethnic groups," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 224, Econometric Society.

    More about this item


    Education disparities analysis of education.;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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