Urbanization and Education : The Effect of Childhood Urban Residency on Educational Attainment
Abstract: Essay I: Does rural to urban migration in developing countries improve the opportunities available to children? And does childhood urban exposure increase educational attainment? Using census data for 14 African countries combined with an age-at-move design, I show that childhood exposure to cities significantly raises primary school completion, school attendance, and literacy rates. The increase in educational attainment is robust to the inclusion of household fixed effects, visible in all subgroups and countries, and particularly large for girls. The paper hence provides evidence of a channel through which urbanization can stimulate economic growth in developing countries, even in the absence of structural transformation.
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