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Productive Transformation, Employment and Education in Namibia


This paper empirically examines the role of education in facilitating structural change, increases in productivity and the creation of decent work in Namibia. We demonstrate that the major structural change in the economic and employment structure from 1997 to 2008 in this country was accompanied by high productivity growth but without generating employment. From 2008 to 2012, this pattern changed dramatically due to  an expansion of low quality employment in all economic sectors and in particular in agriculture, which resulted in negative productivity growth. It is also shown that the pace of increase in educational attainment in Namibia was sufficient to keep up with the structural change in the economy. However, from 2008 to 2012, education intensity decreased in low quality employment which, together with the expansion of this type of employment, reinforced the dualism in the economy and labour market. Education intensity in high quality employment increased, and the value of this education is confirmed by increasing returns to higher secondary and tertiary education. We conclude that educational attainment does not seem to be a constraint for productivity increases in high quality employment, but limits the transformation of low quality into high quality employment.


Corporate Author: 
Ethipian Economics Association (EEA)
Ethipian Economics Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 


Secondary Descriptor: 

Economic Development

Geographic Descriptors: 
Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Labour supply-effect of Education on
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2015
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of Africa Region Chapter of the Econometric Society
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Publication date: 
2015-06-01 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
EEA Conference Center
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
Current frequency: 
Conference date: 
July 16 to 19, 2014