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Understanding the Non-market Social Benefits of Higher Education in Ethiopia: An Empirical and Contextual Analysis using Young Lives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Education Finance
DateIn preparation - 2019


This paper draws on data from 960 young people over a 20-year period to explore the non-monetary social benefits, or externalities, of higher education participation in Ethiopia. We consider socio-cultural realities within and beyond the education sector and their role in the formation of externalities of higher education. In particular, we review the socio-political goals of education during the current government regime as well as the cultural aspects of civic, social and political participation in Ethiopia with the aim of situating the empirical analysis within a Southern perspective. Methodologically, we use classic econometric modelling approaches applied to the Young Lives longitudinal data that tracks a cohort of young people over approximately 20 years. Results show that participation in higher education plays a limited role on whether young people engage in collective action; however, participation in higher education could enhance a democratic culture, which aligns with our finding of potential externalities of higher education in terms of civic participation. To conclude, externalities of higher education should be interpreted in light of what is known about the socio-political context of each country.


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