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Test scores and educational opportunities: Panel evidence from five low- and middle-income countries

Jishnu Das, Abhijeet Singh () and Andres Yi Chang

Journal of Public Economics, 2022, vol. 206, issue C

Abstract: The association between test scores in primary school and college attendance, and how this association differs by socioeconomic status (SES), remains an open question in low- and middle-income countries. Using data from long-running panel studies in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam, we show that children with higher test scores at age 12 report more years of schooling and higher college attendance by ∼age 22 in every country. However, variation in test scores explain only ∼15–55% of the SES gap in years of completed schooling at age 22. A striking implication is that in every country, children from low SES backgrounds who are in the 80th percentile of test scores at age 12 have similar years of completed schooling at age 22 as children from high SES backgrounds who were at the 20th percentile of test scores.

Keywords: Education; Post-secondary education; Social mobility; Ethiopia; India; Pakistan; Peru; Vietnam (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104570

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