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[Excerpt] This paper is a survey of the available literature on education and income distribution in developing countries. Education may affect the distribution of income in a variety of ways: by raising the level of income; by changing, for better or worse, the dispersion of income; by opening up new opportunities for the children of the poor and thereby serving as a vehicle for social mobility and/or, by limiting participation to the children of the well-to-do, transmitting intergenerational inequality; by offering greater access to favored segments of the population (boys, city-dwellers, certain racial groups); by rewarding differently the education received by these groups; through public financing, by taxing some more heavily to subsidize the education of others; and by interacting with fertility, mortality, health, and other aspects of development.


Suggested Citation

Fields, G. S. (1980). Education and income distribution in developing countries: A review of the literature [Electronic version]. In T. King (Ed.), Education and income: A background study for world development (pp. 231-315). Washington, DC: The World Bank.

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© The World Bank. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.