Staying in school: assessing the role of access, availability, and economic opportunities - the case of Tajikistan

Baschieri, Angela and Falkingham, Jane (2009) Staying in school: assessing the role of access, availability, and economic opportunities - the case of Tajikistan. Population, Space and Place, 15, (3), 205-224. (doi:10.1002/psp.512).


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At independence in 1991, Tajikistan enjoyed almost universal literacy, reflecting the legacy of social development achieved during the Soviet period. However, since then the country has undergone immense economic, political and social upheaval, including civil war. As a consequence, the gains of the past are quickly being eroded. Recent evidence suggests that school attendance rates are declining, the gender gap is widening, and there is increasing geographical variation. This paper uses a unique source of data to investigate the relative roles of individual, household, and contextual factors to determine whether or not a child attends basic education in Tajikistan. Applying multilevel modelling and geographical information system techniques, the results show that contextual factors have a strong effect on school attendance. In particular, the accessibility and availability of school services and the quality of education have a positive effect. However, the level of economic development of the community in which the child lives exerts a negative effect on school attendance, reflecting the influence of higher opportunity costs of education in terms of the opportunities for income-generating activities forgone. This has implications for educational policy, highlighting that a joined-up approach is necessary to foster local economic development and to lower school dropout rates.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/psp.512
ISSNs: 1544-8444 (print)
Keywords: tajikistan, multilevel modelling, gis, schooling attendance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
L Education > L Education (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 65571
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2009Published
12 January 2009Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:51

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