Returns to Private Education in Peru

28 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011

See all articles by Sebastian Calonico

Sebastian Calonico

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hugo Ñopo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: March 2007


The private provision of educational services has been representing an increasing fraction of the Peruvian schooling system, especially in recentdecades. While there have been many claims about the differences in quality between private and public schools, there is no complete assessment of the different impacts of these two type of providers on the labor markets. This paper attempts to provide such a comprehensive overview by exploring private-public differences in the individual returns to education in Urban Peru. Exploiting a rich pair of data sets (ENNIV 1997 and 2000) that include questions on type of education (public vs. private) for each educational level (primary, secondary, technical tertiary and university tertiary) to a representative sample of adults, this paper measures the differences in labor earnings for all possible educational trajectories. The results indicate higher returns to education for those who attended private schools than those who attended the public system. Nonetheless, these higher returns also show higher dispersion, reflecting wider quality heterogeneity within the private system. The private-public differences in returns are more pronounced at the secondary than at any other educational level. On the other hand, the private-public differences in returns from technical education are almost nonexistent. A cohort approach paired with a rolling-windows technique allows us to capture generational evolutions of the private-public differences. The results indicate that these differences have been increasing during the last two decades.

Suggested Citation

Calonico, Sebastian and Nopo, Hugo, Returns to Private Education in Peru (March 2007). IDB Working Paper No. 505, Available at SSRN: or

Sebastian Calonico (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Hugo Nopo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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