Education and Economic Growth Relationship

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EDUCATION

QUALITY

AND

ECONOMIC

GROWTH

Education Quality and
Economic Growth

Education Quality and
Economic Growth
Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Wößmann

THE WORLD BANK
Washington, DC

© 2007 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank 1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433
Telephone: 202-473-1000
Internet: www.worldbank.org
E-mail: feedback@worldbank.org
All rights reserved
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This volume is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this volume do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Directors of The World Bank or the governments they represent.

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Cover photos (left to right): World Bank/Ray Witlin, World Bank/Gennadiy Ratushenko, World Bank/Eric Miller

Contents

Foreword
vii
About this book

ix

Educational quality directly affects individual earnings
2
Early analyses have emphasized the role of quantity of schooling for economic growth
3
The quality of education matters even more for economic growth 4
Where does the developing world stand today?
12
Improving educational quality requires a focus on institutions and efficient education spending, not just additional resources
14
The need to alter institutions fundamentally is inescapable
19
Notes
21
References
22

Box
1 Simply increasing educational spending does not ensure improved student outcomes

15

Figures
1 The returns to cognitive skills (literacy) are generally strong across countries

3

2 Each year of schooling is associated with a long-run growth increase of 0.58 percentage points 3 Performance on international student achievement tests tracks educational quality over time 4 Test scores, as opposed to years of schooling, have a powerful impact on growth 5 Test scores influence growth in both low- and high-income countries

4
6

7

8

6 GDP increases significantly with moderately strong knowledge improvement (0.5 standard deviations)
11
7 Low educational attainment is clear in developing countries

12

8 The share of students below 400 (“illiterate”), between 400 and 600, and above 600 varies noticeably across selected countries
13
9 Ghana, South Africa, and Brazil show varying sources for the lack of education of 15–19-year-olds
13
10 Accountability and autonomy interact to affect student performance across countries

18

v

Foreword

Access to education is one of the highest priorities on the development agenda. High-profile international commitment to progress—such as the second Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education—has helped galvanize policy-makers into action. Significant...
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