The Effect of Urban Migration on Educational Attainment: Evidence from Africa
72 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021 Last revised: 11 Nov 2022
Date Written: 2021
Abstract: Does rural to urban migration in developing countries improve the opportunities available to children? And does childhood urban exposure increase educational attainment? Using census data for 14 African countries combined with an age-at-move design, I show that childhood exposure to cities significantly raises primary school completion, school attendance, and literacy rates. The increase in educational attainment is robust to the inclusion of household fixed effects, visible in all subgroups and countries, and particularly large for girls. The paper hence provides evidence of a channel through which urbanization can stimulate economic growth in developing countries, even in the absence of structural transformation.
Keywords: Urban migration, Human capital, Educational attainment
JEL Classification: I25, O18, R11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation