Gender and Educational Externalities: Evidence from Colonial Schools in Nigeria
Economics & Econometrics Seminar Series with
Dr. Dozie Okoye, Dalhousie University
Friday, November 10, 2023
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
307 Tier Building
We study the establishment of the first primary schools across Nigeria between 1845 and 1928. We examine their effects on educational mobility, living standards, cultural practices, and social networks. We estimate effects by comparing those who lived close to the first school (within 7 kilometers) with those who lived farther away (between 7 and 20 km), beyond walking distance. Thus our identification strategy assumes that the exact placement of the schools within a 20-km radius was exogenous. We present six novel findings. First, the schools reduced the gender gap in school attendance and primary education among descendants. Second, education attainment increased even more for descendants of females who attended early schools. Third, the schools had a large positive effect on secondary-school completion among female descendants, which was not the case for the first-generation. Fourth, they increased inter-ethnic social capital, as measured by friendships across ethnic groups. Fifth, they did not affect the practice of polygamy, and polygamy played no major role in the schools’ effects on educational mobility. Lastly, the schools had positive externalities on educational and economic mobility in surrounding communities.