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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Second Copenhagen Consensus: Lowering the Price of Schooling Best Practice, Orazem et al

Best Practice Paper

By Peter F. Orazem, Paul Glewwe and Harry Patrinos 

In almost all countries of the world, schooling raises earnings. This is true in developing as well as developed countries. Similar returns to schooling are found for both urban and rural residents and for both women and men. The median increase in earnings varies from 8‐10% per added year of schooling. The returns are so commonly found and are sufficiently large to justify the Millennium Development Goal that every child should be given at least a primary education, the schooling level that nearly guarantees lifetime attainment of literacy in every country. This paper examine the benefits and costs of lowering parental schooling costs to improve educationl outcomes.