Handa, Sudhanshu (1996). The Determinants of Teenage Schooling in Jamaica: Rich vs. Poor, Females vs. Males. Journal of Development Studies, 32(4)
The belief that schooling is an important way to reduce poverty and increase social mobility has lead to large government‐sponsored investment in education in developing countries. Jamaica has an impressive literacy and primary enrolment rate, yet the ability of its secondary school system to enhance social mobility and reduce inequality is limited. Regression results from a nationally representative household survey show that family background variables (parental education and income) are important determinants of secondary school enrolment, and income is the single most important determinant of enrolment in an ‘elite’ high school, with the impact being twice as large for females. Part of the income effect is shown to represent unobserved community heterogeneity. One conclusion is that the recent ‘cost‐sharing’ education policy of the Jamaican government, if applied selectively to the elite academic high schools, will fall disproportionately upon rich households.
Journal of Development Studies