Working Paper BETA #2023-02

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Title : Cliometrics of Learning-Adjusted Years of Schooling: Evidence from a New Dataset

Author(s) : Nadir ALTINOK, Claude DIEBOLT

Abstract : Analyzing education does not only involve years of schooling, quality matters! This paper aims at providing better data on schooling with a focus on learning outcomes. It provides the largest dataset on learning outcomes, years of schooling and learning-adjusted year of schooling (LAYS) with comparable data between 1970 and 2020. The quantity dimension is measured by years of schooling and uses the latest data from Barro and Lee (2013), while the quality dimension is taken from linking standardized, psychometrically-robust international achievement tests and hybrid tests. The data are available for more than 120 countries between 1970 and 2020. Several findings can be highlighted. A global convergence on both learning outcomes and enrollment has occurred since 1970, but a breakdown can be found after 1990. A very low number of countries perform better over time regarding the quality of schooling, while most countries have a stable level of learning outcomes.

Key-words : Quality, Human Capital, Education, International, Achievement, Database, Cliometrics, PISA, TIMSS, SACMEQ, PASEC, LLECE, EGRA.

JEL Classification : C8, I2, J24, N3, O15