Africa's Education Enigma? The Nigerian Story

42 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2005

See all articles by Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere

Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere

Morehouse College; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

In the last two decades, the social and economic benefits of formal education in Sub-Saharan Africa have been debated. Anecdotal evidence points to low returns to education in Africa. Unfortunately, there is limited econometric evidence to support these claims at the micro level. In this study, I focus on Nigeria a country that holds 1/5 of Africa's population. I use instruments based on the exogenous timing of the implementation and withdrawal of free primary education across regions in this country to consistently estimate the returns to education in the late 1990s. The results show the average returns to education are particularly low in the 90s, in contrast to conventional wisdom for developing countries (2.8% for every extra year of schooling between 1997 and 1999). Surprisingly, I find no significant differences between OLS and IV estimates of returns to education when necessary controls are included in the wage equation. The low returns to education results shed new light on both the changes in demand for education in Nigeria and the increased emigration rates from African countries that characterized the 90s.

Keywords: Nigeria, returns to education, Instrumental Variablehuman capital, instrumental variables, Nigeria, schooling

JEL Classification: J24, J30, I21, I29, O12, O15, O55

Suggested Citation

Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, Africa's Education Enigma? The Nigerian Story (October 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3097, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=810906 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.810906

Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere (Contact Author)

Morehouse College ( email )

Department of Economics
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
77
Abstract Views
1,451
rank
420,926
PlumX Metrics