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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55333
Doc. No:TL25287
Call number:‭3232942‬
Main Entry:Ruth Osarenti Uwaifo
Title & Author:Three essays on the return to education enigma in NigeriaRuth Osarenti Uwaifo
College:University of California, Berkeley
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:152
Abstract:In the last two decades, the social and economic benefits of formal education in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have been debated. Anecdotal evidence points to low and time varying returns to education in Africa. However, there has been little econometric evidence to support these claims at the micro level. Unfortunately, previous estimates of returns to education in SSA have been questioned because the estimation procedure did not adequately treat, or account for the endogenous nature of schooling in the wage equation. In my dissertation, Three Essays on The Return to Education Enigma in Nigeria, I use modern econometric techniques and exploit an education quasi experiment in Nigeria a country that holds 1/5 of Africa's population, to come up with estimates of the economic benefits of formal education over time, regimes and across geopolitical groups. In the first paper, Africa's Education Enigma: The Nigerian story, I use instruments based on the exogenous timing of the implementation and withdrawal of free primary education across regions in this country to precisely estimate the returns to education in the late 1990s. In addition, claims of time differences in returns are investigated. The results show that the average returns to education were particularly low in the late 90s (3.6% for every extra year of schooling in 1998), in contrast to conventional wisdom for developing countries. In addition, there have been significant changes in returns to education for heads of households over short time periods. The second paper, Geopolitical Differences in Labor Market Outcomes and Economic Indicators in Nigeria: Fact or Fantasy, investigates the labor market and economic dimensions of regional differences in Nigeria. The general belief in Nigeria is that regions differ dramatically. However, there is no clear consensus on whether the differences are in basic economic indicators and (or) in labor market outcomes. Using survey data from Nigeria from 1996-1999, I first investigate claims of regional disparities in basic economic indicators by means of inequality measures and descriptive analysis. Also, to test the hypothesis that there are no significant differences in labor market outcomes across regions in Nigeria, I estimate the returns to education across regions using the instrumental variables approach. Significant differences in important indicators like literacy, inequality and educational attainment exist across regions. These differences are even more apparent between the Northern and Southern parts of the country. However in terms of the return to education, evidence of significant regional differences is weak. The results show low returns to education both in Northern and Southern parts of the country. In the third paper, Understanding Low Average Returns to Education in Africa: the Role of Heterogeneity across Education Levels & Political and Economic Reforms, explanations for the low returns to education noted in the first paper are explored. Specifically, I test the hypothesis that political instability, poor institutions and governance cause labor market failures, which then lead to low returns to schooling. In addition, I investigate claims of differences in returns across levels of education in an attempt to characterize the low average return to education in Nigeria. The average return to education is estimated pre and post political and economic reform in Nigeria, using the instrumental variable approach. In addition, the returns to different levels of education are investigated using average treatment effects and standard wage equation analysis. The results provide evidence that labor market, political and institutional reforms in Nigeria post democracy can lead to an increase in returns to education (about three percentage points increase). Furthermore, I find that the low average return to schooling in Nigeria is linked with the low returns at the primary and secondary levels. Returns to tertiary education are comparable to results for some developed countries but lower than previously cl imed. I also find that though returns to education increased post democracy, those with tertiary education are the prime beneficiaries of the changing returns to education.
Subject:Social sciences; Democracy; Nigeria; Returns to education; Economics; Labor economics; 0510:Labor economics; 0501:Economics
Added Entry:B. Wright
Added Entry:University of California, Berkeley