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What Factors Drive Individual Misperceptions of the Returns to Schooling in Tanzania? Some Lessons for Education Policy

Evidence on educational returns and the factors that determine the demand for schooling in developing countries is extremely scarce. We use two surveys from Tanzania to estimate both the actual and perceived schooling returns and subsequently examine what factors drive individual misperceptions regarding actual returns. Using ordinary least squares and instrumental variable methods, we find that each additional year of schooling in Tanzania increases earnings, on average, by 9 to 11 percent. We find that on average, individuals underestimate returns to schooling by 74 to 79 percent, and three factors are associated with these misperceptions: income, asset poverty, and educational attainment. Shedding light on what factors relate to individual beliefs about educational returns can inform policy on how to structure effective interventions to correct individuals' misperceptions.

Keywords
returns to schooling, subjective returns, perceptions, developing countries, labor markets, Africa
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/5cd2-7x16

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Nikolov, Plamen, and Nusrat Jimi. (). What Factors Drive Individual Misperceptions of the Returns to Schooling in Tanzania? Some Lessons for Education Policy. (EdWorkingPaper: -285). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/5cd2-7x16

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