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What factors influence world literacy? is Africa different?, Volume 1
Author:Verner, Dorte; Country:Africa;
Date Stored:2005/02/15Document Date:2005/01/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Nonformal Education; Gender and Education; Primary Education; Public Health Promotion; Education Reform and Management; Curriculum & Instruction
Report Number:WPS3496Collection Title:Policy, Research working papers ; no. WPS 3496
Volume No:1  

Summary: Ninety-five percent of the world’s illiterate people live in developing countries, and about 70 percent are women. Female illiteracy rates are particularly high in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Niger and Burkina Faso, for example, more than 90 percent of women are illiterate. This paper presents a model of literacy. It shows that the main determinants of worldwide literacy are enrollment rates, average years of schooling of adults, and life expectancy at birth. Income has a weak nonlinear effect, negatively affecting literacy until a threshold level of per-capita income of about $2200 a year is reached and positively affecting literacy thereafter. Finally, African countries do not have a significantly higher literacy rate when controlling for other factors.

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