The Effect of Urban Migration on Educational Attainment: Evidence from Africa

78 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021 Last revised: 17 Mar 2022

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Does 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 thus provides evidence of a channel through which urban migration 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

van Maarseveen, Raoul, The Effect of Urban Migration on 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)

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

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