The impact of educational homogamy on literacy levels

Joan Garcia Roman, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Iñaki Permanyer, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Albert Esteve, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)

In this paper we explore the impact that increases in homogamy levels have had on corrected literacy levels, the later being defined as classical literacy rates corrected by the way in which literates and illiterates are allocated across households and penalizing those distributions with high levels of literacy segregation. In order to disentangle the joint effect that homogamy levels and education expansion have had on corrected literacy levels we have developed a new measure that combines into a single dimension the joint effect of both factors at the same time. Based on IPUMS and DHS data for 73 countries and 217 samples, our results suggest that increases in the preference for homogamy have not been strong enough to prevent educational expansion to reach an expanding number of layers of the population and increase corrected literacy levels all over the world. Nevertheless, corrected literacy rates would have been on average 7% higher had it not been for homogamy preferences.

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Presented in Session 16: Human capital and well-being