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Farm productivity and efficiency in rural Bangladesh: the role of education revisited

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Abstract:

This article reassesses the debate over the role of education in farm production in Bangladesh using a large dataset on rice producing households from 141 villages. Average and stochastic production frontier functions are estimated to ascertain the effect of education on productivity and efficiency. A full set of proxies for farm education stock variables are incorporated to investigate the 'internal' as well as 'external' returns to education. The external effect is investigated in the context of rural neighbourhoods. Our analysis reveals that in addition to raising rice productivity and boosting potential output, household education significantly reduces production inefficiencies. However, we are unable to find any evidence of the externality benefit of schooling - neighbour's education does not matter in farm production. We discuss the implication of these findings for rural education programmes in Bangladesh.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840601019125

Affiliations: 1: SKOPE, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3UQ, UK,Department of Economics, University of Reading, RG6 6AA, UK 2: Faculty of Social Science and Business, School of Geography, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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