C. Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.







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    Who Benefits from Higher Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries?
    (Taylor and Francis, 2019) Shafiq, M. Najeeb ; Toutkoushian, Robert K. ; Valerio, Alexandria
    In this article, we investigate how higher education contributes to the employment and earnings of individuals in labor markets, and whether social origins play a role in the financial benefits from higher education. We focus on these questions in nine low- and middle-income countries: Armenia, Bolivia, Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Macedonia, and Vietnam. We use the recent Skills Towards Employability and Productivity (STEP) surveys of urban labor force participants to examine individuals’ educational attainment, labor market participation, and earnings. Using logistic regressions, we find that individuals from disadvantaged origins are less likely to obtain a higher education degree. We find that in most of these countries, individuals who have earned a higher education degree are significantly more likely to be in the labor force and find employment, and enjoy sizable earnings premia. The findings are fairly robust with regard to the samples of individuals examined, and the methods used to measure earnings premia. Finally, we find little evidence that the earnings premia from higher education vary by social origins or the likelihood of an individual completing a degree. These results suggest that the benefits from higher education are comparable for individuals from disadvantaged and advantaged social origins.
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    Customary Norms, Inheritance, and Human Capital: Evidence from a Reform of the Matrilineal System in Ghana
    (American Economic Association, 2017-10) La Ferrera, Eliana ; Milazzo, Annamaria
    We study the role of traditional norms in land allocation and human capital investment. We exploit a policy experiment in Ghana that increased the land that children from matrilineal groups could inherit from their fathers. Boys exposed to the reform received 0.9 less years of education—an effect driven by landed households, for whom the reform was binding. We find no effect for girls, whose inheritance was de facto unaffected. These patterns suggest that before the reform matrilineal groups invested more in education than they would if unconstrained, to substitute for land inheritance, underscoring the importance of cultural norms.