Economics Department Seminar

Thursday, September 12, 2013
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
McLaren Conference Center 250 - Venue
Event Type
Events and Lectures
Hayes, Catrina

Speaker: Christopher Ksoll from the University of Ottawa, School for International Development and Global Studies

Title: Does Education Empower? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Los Angeles

Abstract: Over 800 million adults worldwide are unable to read and write in any language.  While decades of adult education programs have attempted to remedy this situation, the available evidence on their success is mixed. The widespread introduction of information technology into developing countries offers new opportunities for distance education, but to date, have only shown results on a small scale or have been heavily dependent upon teachers.  Using a randomized experiment of an innovative, entirely mobile phone-based adult education program (CellEd), on all simple mobile phones, we find that such instruction increases literacy and numeracy rates. These increased literacy rates translate into higher levels of female empowerment: a one standard deviation increase in literacy skills increases empowerment substantially. This suggests that well-designed and appropriate technological education platforms may close the education gap in developing countries and increase female empowerment.     

Sponsored by the Economics Department

Department contact: Catrina Hayes, Program Assistant -, (415) 422-2765


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