A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950-2010

Robert J. Barro, Jong Wha Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1956 Citations (Scopus)


Our panel data set on educational attainment has been updated for 146 countries from 1950 to 2010. The data are disaggregated by sex and by 5-year age intervals. We have improved the accuracy of estimation by using information from consistent census data, disaggregated by age group, along with new estimates of mortality rates and completion rates by age and education level. We compare the estimates with our previous ones (Barro and Lee, 2001) and alternative measures (Cohen and Soto, 2007). Our estimates of educational attainment provide a reasonable proxy for the stock of human capital for a broad group of countries and should be useful for a variety of empirical work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to UNESCO Institute for Statistics for providing data and UNDP Human Development Office, Rostislav Kapelyushnikov, Tatjana Skrbecnal and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Ruth Francisco, Hanol Lee, and Seulki Shin have provided valuable research assistance. This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation (KRF-2006-342-B00010). The data set presented here is available online (http:/ www.barrolee.com/ ).

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Education
  • Human capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950-2010'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this