Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Book
Title Grade structure, educational attainment and labor market outcomes: Evidence from Botswana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Publisher Columbia: University Press
URL https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/rtfiles/finance/Applied Microeconomics/Fall 2009/BW_paper_Sept.pdf
Many students in developing countries drop out of school at the junctures
between different levels of education, yet little evidence exists on the extent to which
changing the position of these junctures can affect educational attainment and other
outcomes. This paper studies the impact of reforms to the position of the juncture
between the lower and upper secondary levels in Botswana. I find that relocating the 10th
year of education from upper to lower secondary, where access was much higher,
induced an increase in educational attainment of 0.62 years for the group directly affected
by this change. This was accompanied by an increase in labor force participation (3.9
percentage points) and a drop in unemployment (8.4 percentage points). Restricting to
males in order to reduce sample selection bias, this group also selected into occupations
with a higher skill level (0.19 of a standard deviation) and enjoyed higher wages (almost
16 percentage points). Consistent with these strong responses, IV estimates suggest high
pecuniary returns of between 19.2 and 26.3 percentage points to the 10th year of
education. Overall the results suggest that educational attainment responded strongly to
an effective increase in access to the additional year of education, and that grade structure
could have an important role to play in designing policies to increase educational
attainment in developing countries.

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