Urbanization and educational attainment: evidence from Africa

81 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021 Last revised: 24 Feb 2024

See all articles by Raoul van Maarseveen

Raoul van Maarseveen

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Despite the rapid urbanization of the developing world, little remains known about how urban residency and migration affect childhood outcomes. Using census data for 14 African countries combined with an age-at-move design, I show that childhood exposure to cities significantly increases primary school completion and literacy rates of children, even for poor urban households. The availability of schools and the lower opportunity costs of education appear to be the main factors explaining the higher education attainment in urban regions. The paper thus provides evidence of a novel channel through which urban migration can promote economic development in developing countries.

Keywords: Urban migration, Human capital, Educational attainment, Developing world cities

JEL Classification: I25, O25, R23

Suggested Citation

van Maarseveen, Raoul, Urbanization and educational attainment: evidence from Africa (2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3836097 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3836097

Raoul Van Maarseveen (Contact Author)

University of Cologne - Department of Economics ( email )

Cologne, 50923
Germany

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