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ERIC Number: ED449320
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-0-660-17956-3
ISSN: ISSN-1480-1566
Schooling, Literacy and Individual Earnings. International Adult Literacy Survey.
Osberg, Lars
This paper uses direct measures of literacy skill levels provided by the International Adult Literacy Survey to estimate the return to literacy skills. Using a very simple human capital earnings equation and standard ordinary least squares regression, it tested estimates of the return to literacy skills for their robustness to alternative scalings of literacy attainment. The paper emphasizes the importance of alternative possible scalings of literacy scores, because literacy scores are inherently ordinal, not cardinal, numbers. The paper explores the sensitivity of econometric results to a range of monotonic transformations of literacy scores and concludes that, particularly for males, much of the economic return yielded by education is due to literacy skills--perhaps as much as 40-45 percent. Other conclusions are that, while education has a higher overall rate of return for females than for males, not as much of that return is explained by literacy; literacy may also account for a larger proportion of the impact of education on earnings among those with higher literacy skills; and literacy does affect earnings over quite a wide range of metrics. Alternative possible scalings of literacy scores also imply that the rankings of Canadian provinces in average literacy vary with the scaling adopted, sometimes quite dramatically. Appendixes contain 18 endnotes and 29 references. (YLB)
Statistics Canada, Dissemination Division, Circulation Management, 120 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6, Canada; Tel: 800-267-6677 (Toll Free); Fax: 877-287-4369 (Toll Free); e-mail: For full text: (Catalogue no. 89-552-MIE, No. 7; $10 Canadian).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada, Hull (Quebec). Applied Research Branch.; National Literacy Secretariat, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Statistics Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Identifiers - Location: Canada