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Understanding Poverty$
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Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Roland Bénabou, and Dilip Mookherjee

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195305191.001.0001

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The Primacy of Education

The Primacy of Education

(p.269) 18 The Primacy of Education
Understanding Poverty

Anne Case

Oxford University Press

Many economists believe that education is key to economic development. The first section of this essay highlights what is known about the role of education in three interrelated areas: income generation, health status, and fertility. It discusses reasons why measuring the impact of education is difficult, and presents the best current estimates for the effects of education in these important areas. In bringing education to people in the developing world, an understanding of which school inputs are most effective and at what levels of education is paramount. The second half of the essay discusses why little is known about which inputs are most effective, and contrasts different approaches to assessing the impact of school inputs. The essay concludes with a discussion of programs that promise to be more successful in helping governments and policy makers decide how best to invest in human capital.

Keywords:   economic development, income generation, health, fertility, educational production, school intervention programs, India, Mexico

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