The State of Education in Africa and the Economic Consequences
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, U.S. National Science Foundation
POLITICAL ELITES, DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION: THEORY AND EMPIRICS
AbstractWe develop a theoretical model to study the interaction of political elite’s de facto power, democratization and education. We focus on the control of de facto political power as the driving force behind the elite’s decision to subsidize or not subsidize education, and to support or not support democratization (political reform). Assuming a society where a small elite control de facto political power, our model tries to identify the conditions under which the elite support democracy and/or education. We find that under some conditions, the elite may overcompensate the loss of de jure power (as a result of political reform or democratization) by investing too much in de facto power (as in Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006) so that the probability to have de facto power is higher under democracy than under non-democracy. We show that depending on whether citizens’ education has increasing or decreasing returns, the elite may or may not support education subsidy under democracy. We use panel data from a large group of African countries and test this prediction at the macro level. The results we obtain offer useful insights into the differences we observe in the elite’s preferences for investing in the education of the masses in countries at comparable levels of democratization; and the differences we note in levels of democracy across countries with comparable educational levels.
The Impact of Free Primary Education on Teenage Childbirth and Health Care Demand in Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia and Mozambique
AbstractTeenage pregnancy continues to be a problem in most Africa countries. United Nations reports that 11 percent of all births are due to women aged 15-19 years. Majority of countries with teenage pregnancies above 30 percent are in Sub Saharan Africa. Children born to teenagers usually have low birth weights and face more challenges compared to children born by older women. Children who undergo health shocks are more likely to miss school days, drop out of school and earn lower incomes. It is estimated that increasing years of schooling will delay the age at which women have children. Several countries have instituted free primary education programs to promote more schooling and education. Despite free primary education, teenage pregnancy still remains an issue. In this study we analyzed the impact of the introduction of free primary education on prevalence of teenage pregnancy in 4 sub Saharan African countries. We also estimated the use of prenatal services by teenage mothers. We use the most current Demographic and Health Survey data for each of these countries. Our results indicate that though Free primary education has increased the percentage of girls who are getting educated, there has not been much change in teenage pregnancy rates. It is
possible that other factors such as economic instability, household sizes and household characteristics are influencing the teenage pregnancy in the countries.
Government Spending on Education and Economic Growth: A Case Study of West African Countries
AbstractEndogenous growth model proponents like Lucas, (1988) and Barro (1991) validated the fact that the role of education in promoting economic growth is significant and positive. Thus, investment on education has a positive effect on both the individual manpower and the economy as a whole. Additionally, countries having greater stocks of human capital and investing more on education or research and development will enjoy a faster rate of economic growth. This, they (proponents of the endogenous growth model) suggest, may be one of the reasons for the slow growth rate of certain developing countries including many African countries. In West Africa countries, government role in enhancing education and research cannot be underestimated and over time, there have be increased in government spending on education (World Bank, 2016) but whether or not these spending translate to improvements in both education and manpower development remains contentious. One salient question here, is that does public spending on education cause economic growth in the West African Countries? Accordingly, this study, using econometric analysis involving co-integration technique and a panel least square technique and secondary data obtained from the World Bank, will investigate the effect of the government education spending on economic growth. A bivariate analysis between government education spending and GDP will also be done. It is expected, among others, that government education spending will have a significant positive relationship with economic growth though the education spending less than 5% of the GDP in the West African countries.
- I2 - Education and Research Institutions