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Inequality of Opportunity in Education and Youth Employment in MENA

Mar 29, 2015
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Inequality of Opportunity in Educationand
Youth Employment in MENA

Working Paper 15-1


This paper updates the earlier literature on youth transitions from school to work in MENA countries in light of new evidence on inequality of opportunity.  It argues that the discussion of transitions based on the experience of the “average youth” miss significant variation in experiences of youth from different social and economic backgrounds, and that these differences should be taken into account in designing policies to facilitate youth transitions.  The evidence reviewed in this paper shows great variation across the region in all types of inequality of opportunity.  The evidence also shows that inequality of opportunity in several countries is very high. In these countries the quality of the family and community environment in which a child grows up matters greatly for the likelihood of ever entering school and reaching the secondary level, achievement in math and science, and for the quality of jobs in which they end up as adults.   The paper discusses some of the reasons behind the high levels of inequality of opportunity, in particular the methods of national testing that reward a narrow range of skills, which leads to lower equality of opportunity.

Topics: المواضيع: 
  • Knowledge and Research
  • Employment
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Labor or Demographics
Countries: البلدان: 
  • Regional