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WPS4517 P olicy R eseaRch W oRking P aPeR 4517

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Accessibility and Affordability of Tertiary Education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru within a Global Context
Yuki Murakami Andreas Blom

Public Disclosure Authorized

Public Disclosure Authorized

The World Bank Latin America and Caribbean Region Human Development SectorFebruary 2008

Policy ReseaRch WoRking PaPeR 4517

Abstract
This paper examines the financing of tertiary education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, comparing the affordability and accessibility of tertiary education with that in high-income countries. To measure affordability, the authors estimate education costs, living costs, grants, and loans. Further, they compute the participationrate, attainment rate, and socio-economic equity index in education and the gender equity index as indicators of accessibility. This is the first study attempting to estimate affordability of tertiary education in Latin America within a global context. The analysis combines information from household surveys, expenditure surveys, and administrative and institutional databases. The findings showthat families in Latin America have to pay 60 percent of per-capita income for tertiary education per student per year compared with 19 percent in high-income countries. Living costs are significant, at 29 percent of gross domestic product per capita in Latin America (19 percent in high-income countries). Student assistance through grants and loans plays a marginal role in improving affordability.Moreover, the paper confirms previous findings of low access to tertiary education in the region. One policy implication of the findings is that Latin American governments could take steps to make tertiary education more affordable through student assistance.

This paper—a product of the Education Sector Unit in the Human Development Sector at the Latin America and Caribbean Region—is part of alarger effort in the department to is part of a larger effort in the region to provide analysis and policy options for education reform. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://econ.worldbank.org. The author may be contacted at ablom@worldbank.org.

The Policy Research Working Paper Series disseminates the findings of work in progress to encourage the exchange ofideas about development issues. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the International Bankfor Reconstruction and Development/World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent.

Produced by the Research Support Team

Accessibility and Affordability of Tertiary Education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru within a Global Context1
Yuki Murakami Andreas Blom
2

World Bank 1818 H Street WashingtonD.C. 20433 U.S.A.

We thank Alex Usher, Jamil Salmi, Daniel Cotlear, Jose-Joaquin Brunner, Eduardo Velez Bustillo, Alberto Rodriguez, Augusto de la Torre, and participants at the Pan-American Student Loan Conference in Lima, Peru, March 2007 for comments and suggestions. 2 Email addresses: ymurakami@worldbank.org and ablom@worldbank.org This Working Paper disseminates the findings of work inprogress to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues. An objective of the paper is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent...
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