Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Joerg Bibow

Abstract

Among numerous critical issues in Africa, the gender gap in education is the leading tragedy that continues to deteriorate Africa’s economy. Several studies have demonstrated the various social and economic benefits of education, but without emphasizing the implication of the gender gap in education on Africa’s economic growth. Millions of Africa’s girls and women are not attending school, mainly because of the social norms hindering gender equality in educational resources. Education is a basic human right and its availability should not be limited based on social identities such as gender, class, or race. Women are ‘untapped’ resources in Africa and providing equal education opportunities could facilitate economic growth.

This study discusses the effects of education on the economic growth of Africa. It is a panel data analysis on 52 randomly selected African countries, investigating and comparing the economic benefit of education between women and men. In conducting this project, a fixed effect analysis is used to examine the human capital and social benefits of female education. After running three separate regressions that demonstrate the human capital and social gains of female education, the results show that there is a strong negative correlation between female education and infant mortality rates as well as a negative correlation between female education and fertility rates.

Additionally, according to the sample used in this empirical study, the fixed effect estimates convey that the economic benefit of educating females is stronger than that of males. A final regression that combines all three of the models conveys that an increase in female education and a reduction in infant mortality rate are some of the most significant elements in stimulating GDP per capita growth in Africa. These results are crucial as they can spur higher institutions to develop a policy that focuses on educating girls in order to minimize the gender gap in education in Africa, which, in the long run, can foster the economy and eradicate poverty.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Economics Commons

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