Decomposing the regional gap in cognitive skills in rural Pakistan

Type Journal Article - Journal of Asian Economics
Title Decomposing the regional gap in cognitive skills in rural Pakistan
Volume 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1996
Page numbers 49-76
Schooling, and a major product of schooling—cognitive achievement—varies considerably across regions in rural Pakistan. These regional differences are important because they reflect well-being and earnings differences and because better schooling induces greater geographical mobility. An unique household probability-based data set with cognitive achievement for sample members over nine years old is used to decompose the substantial regional gaps in cognitive achievement. Estimates suggest that regional differentials in school availability and in school quality, in addition to regional differentials in family background, are big factors underlying regional differentials in schooling and in cognitive achievement. The regional gaps in schooling availability and in school quality reflect fairly immediate school supply decisions directly related to policies. Therefore regional gaps in schooling and in cognitive achievement could be reduced substantially in the medium run through policy decisions to equalize school resources across regions, with subsequent gains in equity and mobility across regions. (JEL12, 015, R53)

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