International Comparisons of Educational Attainment
Many theories of economic growth stress the role of human capital in the form of education, but empirical studies have been hampered by inadequate data. We describe a data set on educational attainment that we have constructed for 129 countries over five-year periods from 1960-1985. We use census/survey information to fill over 40% of the cells, and we use school enrollment figures in a perpetual-inventory framework to fill the remainder. The data refer to male and female attainment of the adult population at four levels: no-schooling. primary. secondary, and higher. We also provide a rough breakdown into incomplete and complete attainment at the three levels of schooling. We then take account of cross-country variations in the durations of schooling at each level to provide figures on total years of attainment.