Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries

CID Faculty Working Paper No. 122

Paul Glewwe and Michael Kremer
September 2005


Eighty percent of the world's children live in developing countries. For economists working on education, the study of developing countries offers both policy questions of fundamental importance and a rich set of experiences to examine. This paper, prepared as a chapter for the Handbook on the Economics of Education, starts by providing background on primary and secondary education in developing countries, then outlines an analytical framework that will be used in interpreting the studies discussed. The authors then review selected empirical work: examining the factors influencing the quantity of education obtained; focusing on education quality by examining the determinants of skills obtained while in school; and examining distortions in education systems, the political economy of education, and school reform initiatives. Finally, the authors review methodological lessons and provide recommendations for future research on education in developing countries.

Keywords: education, developing countries, schools, teachers