Title: Returns to education in MENA countries: a continuing story of under-achievement

Authors: Reham Rizk

Addresses: British University in Egypt (BUE), Suez Rd., Cairo Governorate 11837, Egypt

Abstract: The paper provides a comparative study of private rates of return to education in five MENA countries to better understand the pattern of rewards to different levels of schooling. Moreover, the paper attempts to link the structure of returns to education to labour market, gender and different age groups. The findings confirm less consistency among countries and this is due to differences in education quality and supply and demand of graduates, which has a significant influence on returns to schooling. Returns to additional years of schooling are the highest for Tunisia and lowest for Egypt. On analysing the rate of return to education by socio-economic factors: returns to education for women are lower than for men, and older cohorts have highest returns particularly for Egypt and Tunisia. With respect to policymakers, MENA region should adopt education policies that target quality of education, which meets labour demand rather than expansion of education.

Keywords: rate of return to education; gender; MENA countries; cross-section analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2019.102751

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2019 Vol.10 No.4, pp.427 - 448

Received: 30 Jan 2019
Accepted: 13 Mar 2019

Published online: 10 Jul 2019 *

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