Educational and Geographic Spillovers of Higher Education in the Developing World: Case Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa



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Education is often a means to intergenerational mobility, but it still remains inaccessible to many people in much of the developing world. Higher education institutions directly affect the higher education level of the communities they are established in, but they may also have spillovers on lower levels of schooling. In this paper, I use an event study framework to estimate the spillovers universities in developing countries have on the local community’s educational attainment. I find more consistent spillovers on primary school enrollment than on secondary school enrollment. I estimate the establishment of a college increases the likelihood of the enrollment of primary school age children by up to 3.8 percentage points in Uganda, up to 5.1 percentage points in Kenya, and up to 9.2 percentage points in Ghana. I also find spillovers on school enrollment are strongest for children from low and lower-middle income families. My research adds to the literature on the spillovers of higher education in developing countries by providing some of the first estimates of educational spillovers in Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana. This cross-country comparison will allow me to assess the external validity of my findings and study the factors that might be driving the differences in spillovers in various countries.



Economics, Economic Development, Education, Economic Geography, Public Economics, Intergenerational Mobility, Poverty, Economics of Education, Event Study, Microeconomics, Applied Microeconomics, Econometrics, International Development, Development Economics, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Higher Education, Economic Spillovers, Geographic Spillovers, Education Spillovers, Socioeconomic Mobility