Educational attainment in the 20th century: using data from historical censuses and statistical yearbooks to reconstruct and validate a new global dataset on education

Jakob Eder, Vienna Institute of Demography and Austrian Academy of Sciences
Markus Speringer, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Anne Goujon, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Samir K.C., Shanghai University and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Michaela Potančoková, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Ramon Bauer, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU) and Universität Wien

The quality of data on education is a substantial not only for academic research but also for policy makers, as past trends are important for future decision making. Today, these data are widely collected through censuses or surveys. However, international comparisons remain difficult due to different definitions, education systems and the different years, in which censuses or surveys are taken. Hence, the harmonization of and reconstruction of education data is crucial to enable comparative analysis, especially for comparisons across time. Based on the latest back projections by age, sex and education of the Wittgenstein Centre back to 1970 (carried out in 2014), the EDU20C project aims to extend this time series back to 1900 for 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. The reconstruction is based on the base year data compiled for the 2014 back projections, but uses many other data on educational attainment, literacy and enrolment to extend the period covered and for validation. The presentation at the EPC 2016 will cover our methodology (data collection, harmonization efforts, back projection model) and also results for the countries available at the time of the conference.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session 3