Returns to Education in Bogota, Colombia

by T. P. Schultz

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A study of the rate of return, in terms of wages, to various levels of education for men and women in Bogota. Based on data obtained from a labor force survey in Bogota in September 1965, estimates are derived for the private rate of return and for a partial social rate of return (based on an estimate of the average public cost per student at various school levels). Although the data are cross-sectional, and educational planning is concerned with the long-range view, the results do provide evidence for some rough indications of economic priorities. The study shows, for example, that whereas the rate of return to both men's and women's secondary and vocational education, and to some extent men's primary education, is high, the return to university training is unusually low. Thus, high priority should probably be given to the expansion of secondary and vocational schooling, with emphasis on achieving a more equal distribution of educational opportunity between urban and rural, rich and poor regions. On the other hand, continued expansion of higher education without rapid growth in domestic demand for high-level talent may only accelerate emigration of university graduates, already a matter of concern. 77 pp.

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