2014 30 June Update

The new version (2.0) is now available.

This version of the Barro-Lee data set has made several important changes to the earlier version (1.3) reported in Barro and Lee (2013). Hanol Lee, a Ph.D. Student in Economics at Korea University, has provided excellent research assistance.

The changes affected various countries in the sample. The major changes are as follows:

  • We have updated estimates of educational attainment by using the recently available UNESCO census data. They include 89 census observations from the 86 countries, mostly for the years 2005 and 2010. The census data on educational attainment of the population by age and by gender are kindly provided by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
  • We have also collected the new census/survey observations from the UN demographic yearbook and national publications from statistics bureaus.
  • We have added 126 census/survey observations in total and used them as benchmark figures for the estimation of educational attainment. The following Table provides detailed information on these additional observations.
  • We have corrected minor errors in the UNESCO censuses, including Korea in 1990 and Mexico in 2000.
  • To maintain consistency with the observations from the other sources, we have reformulated the completion ratio of tertiary-level attainment for the census observations sourced from the UN Demographic yearbooks. The tertiary completion ratio is defined as the percentage of the number of people who have attained schooling at ISCED 5A or 6 in the number of people who have attained schooling at ISCED 5A, 5B or 6. The people who have ever enrolled in the 4th year of colleges or universities belong to the complete category.
  • We have used the updated data on enrollment ratios for total and female school-aged population at each education level for 2005 and 2010.
  • In this version, we have checked more carefully the consistency between the estimates of the distribution of educational attainment among total, female and male population by age group. We report the data for male population by age group together with the ones for total and female population.
  • We are currently constructing estimates of historical educational attainment from 1870 to 1945 in five-year intervals. For the estimation, in this version (2.0), we have used newly compiled data on school duration data and school enrollment ratios for the years before 1950, and adopted a modified backward extrapolation technique. Accordingly, there are some changes in the estimates for the older-age population after 1950 (that is, those derived from the estimates for school-age population before 1950). We will report historical data on school duration and school enrollment ratios, as well as a new data set of historical educational attainment, with new estimation procedures, at the next opportunity.
  • The version (1.3) released on April 2013 is also available.