Increases in education: 1970-2000

Anne Goujon, Vienna Institute of Demography and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Samir K.C., International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

The importance of education is central to the process of development, or rather to the processes of development. However the dynamics of education diffusion through populations during development are not well known for one main reason: the lack of consistent time series data on levels of educational attainment. Using the dataset jointly produced by IIASA and VID (Lutz et al. 2007) that gives the full educational attainment distributions for the 1970-2000 period for four categories (no education, primary, secondary and tertiary education) by five-year age groups and with definitions that are strictly comparable across time for 120 countries by age, this paper will present the process of human capital formation. It will focus on three main areas. One is the momentum of education and the effective time it takes to reach a particular level of education for the whole working age population in different settings. The second focus will be on gender differences in levels of educational attainment and how do those relate to total educational achievement of human capital. In a third part and this will be the most challenging; we will point out the thresholds at which changes in the levels of educational attainment of the working age population occur, namely what stock of primarily educated people does a country need to move to secondary education and the same for the transition from secondary to tertiary education. Although the results will be country specific, we expect to be able to draw some general traits across regions or levels of economic development. An extended abstract has not been developed yet as the reconstruction data just came out but we would appreciate to use the platform of the EPC to present our work.

Presented in Poster Session 3