International Comparisons of Rural-Urban Educational Attainment: Data and Determinants
51 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2005
Date Written: August 2006
We study cross-country differences in rural and urban educational attainment by using a data set for a diverse group of 56 countries. Utilizing human capital, labor market and migration theories, we identify national, rural and urban factors that are expected to influence rural and urban households in their educational choices. We apply our theoretical arguments to a dataset that we construct from data available in UNESCO Educational Yearbooks (1964-1999). We find that improved access to labor markets and lower risks associated with human capital investment reduce the disparities in the ratio and the levels of rural and urban schooling years. Importantly, countries with higher amount of resources and with better institutional framework to allocate such resources have lower rural-urban inequality in education. We also find that the impact of credit availabilities, type of legal system, geography and religion on the rural-urban educational inequality are related to the level of economic development.
Keywords: Rural and urban schooling, regional disparities in schooling, general-to-specific modelling, specific-to-general modelling
JEL Classification: I20, O18, R12
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