Policy makers often worry that economic crises aggravate schooling inequalities, but the longitudinal data to monitor these inequalities are typically lacking. This paper uses the schooling histories of 2,249 pupils to investigate how the economic downturn in Cameroon in the period of 1987-95 affected the schooling inequalities associated with sex of pupil, residence, the family's socio-economic status, and family size. The authors first assess overall patterns and find these inequalities to depend on grade and other vulnerability factors. For instance, girls are disadvantaged in comparison with boys only in rural families and within primary and junior secondary school. The authors then examine historical changes in schooling inequalities, distinguishing between long-term trends and net changes during crisis years. The authors find that the inequalities associated with sex of pupil and family size have increased. Results underscore the importance of economic conditions in sustaining progress in closing gaps in education between the sexes. The authors also suggest that fertility and family size are of growing significance for schooling in African settings.
Originally published in: Population Studies, v. 57, no. 2, 2003, pp. 183-197.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.