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Making sense of low private returns in MENA: A human capital approach

Ian Kingsbury

International Journal of Educational Development, 2018, vol. 61, issue C, 173-183

Abstract: Several scholars and media outlets have identified the low rate of return to education in the Arab World as a root cause of unrest and upheaval (Fargues, 2011; Adams and Winthrop, 2011; Rhoads and Liu, 2009; Shafiq and Vignoles, 2015). Yet, a close inspection of extant literature reveals that there is a limited theoretical or practical understanding of why returns in the region are so low. This paper aims to begin filling that void by empirically examining the relationship between four salient features of Arab World political economy and returns to education. My findings are not causal, nor are they exhaustive or conclusive. Rather, they are suggestive, and hopefully intriguing. It is my hope that this analysis might serve as a roadmap to those who might drill down into an understudied regional issue with global consequences.

Keywords: Returns to education; Human Capital; Arab Spring; MENA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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