M. Najeeb Shafiq - Publications
Faculty - Executive Director of CIES


Sun, L., Shafiq, M.N., McClure, M. and Guo, S. (in press). Are there educational and psychological benefits from private supplementary tutoring in Mainland China? Evidence from the China Education Panel Survey, 2013 - 2015. International Journal of Educational Development, forthcoming.
We investigate the educational and psychological benefits from participating in private supplementary tutoring in Mainland China. We use the 2013-2015 China Education Panel Survey data on junior high school students and a difference-in-difference and propensity score matching research design. Our results show that private tutoring is positively associated with higher English scores for rural students only. For all students and across most sub-groups, we find that private tutoring is associated with a lower frequency of students' self-reported negative emotions. The data, however, do not permit deeper inquiry into the role of the quality and quantity of private tutoring.
Shafiq, M. N., Toutkoushian, R. K., & Valerio, A. (2019). Who benefits from higher education in low- and middle-income countries? Journal of Development Studies 55(11), pp. 2403-2423.

In this article, we investigate how higher education contributes to the employment and earnings of individuals in labour markets, and whether social origins play a role in the financial benefits from higher education. We focus on these questions in nine low- and middle-income countries: Armenia, Bolivia, Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Macedonia, and Vietnam. We use the recent STEP surveys of urban labour force participants to examine individuals’ educational attainment, labour market participation, and earnings. Using logistic regressions, we find that individuals from disadvantaged origins are less likely to obtain a higher education degree. We find that in most of these countries, individuals who have earned a higher education degree are significantly more likely to be in the labour force and find employment, and enjoy sizable earnings premia. The findings are fairly robust with regard to the samples of individuals examined, and the methods used to measure earnings premia. Finally, we find little evidence that the earnings premia from higher education vary by social origins or the likelihood of an individual completing a degree. These results suggest that the benefits from higher education are comparable for individuals from disadvantaged and advantaged social origins.

Shafiq, M. N., Devercelli, A. E., & Valerio, A. (2018). Are there long-term benefits from early childhood education in low- and middle-income countries? Educational Policy Analysis Archives 26(122). http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.26.3239

We examine the relationship between participation in early childhood education (ECE) and various long-term outcomes: post-ECE educational attainment, cognitive skills, socioemotional skills, and labor market outcomes. The data are from 12 low- and middle-income countries, using cross-sectional surveys of urban adults that contain rich information on their childhood circumstances (“social origins”). Using ordinary least squares regression and propensity score matching regression methods, we find suggestive evidence of long-term benefits across countries, as well as mixed evidence within countries. Notably, we find positive and statistically significant associations between ECE participation and post-ECE educational attainment (a mean of 0.9 additional years across countries). We find relatively fewer cases of positive associations between ECE and long-term socioemotional outcomes. The evidence on ECE and labor market outcomes is varied, with positive associations for skill use but weak associations with earnings. Such mixed results may suggest that improvements in the overall quality of ECE programs are necessary for realizing the full range of long-term benefits.


Observers have asserted that India’s economic rise coincides with moral change. This study assesses some notable aspects of this claim by using public attitudes toward tax evasion and bribery as indicators of moral values. Using repeated cross-sectional data from the World Values Surveys, I find that tolerance for tax evasion and bribery grew relatively slightly from 1991 to 1996, and then increased rapidly from 2001 to 2006. Double-interaction regression models show tolerance converging by gender and religion, and tolerance diverging between the poor and non-poor. However, the regional patterns are complex. Finally, university educational attainment is associated with decreasing tolerance.

Shafiq, M. N. & J. P. Myers (2014). "Educational vouchers and social cohesion: A statistical analysis of student civic attitudes in Sweden, 1999-2009," American Journal of Education 121(1), pp. 111-136.

This study examines the Swedish national educational voucher scheme and changes in social cohesion. We suspected that social cohe¬sion would decline because vouchers in other countries have typically resulted in segregation, and also because Sweden’s private schools were not required to teach civics. We conduct a statistical analysis using data from the 1999 and 2009 rounds of the IEA Civic Education Study of 14-year-old students and their attitudes toward the rights of ethnic minorities and immigrants. Using regression models, we do not find evidence of a decline in civic attitudes and therefore social cohesion. We attribute the results to Sweden’s voucher design and context that minimized segregation and preserved civics curricula in all schools.

Shafiq, M. N., J. Mason, T. Seybolt & K. DeLuca (2014). "Are student protests in Arab states caused by economic and political grievances? Empirical evidence from the 2006-07 Arab Barometer," Peabody Journal of Education, 89(1), pp. 141-158.

We investigate the nature of protests by students (age 18 and older) in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen by using subsamples of students from nationally representative and acclaimed public opinion data (the 2006–07 Arab Barometer). We find between 22.1% (Jordan) and 54.7% (Yemen) participated in either the signing of petitions, or marching in street protests, or both between the years 2003–07. To explain student protest participation, we draw from the political economy literature to test four grievance-based hypotheses that link protest to student perceptions on the performance of the economy, personal family socioeconomic status, political exclusion, and preference for democracy. Ordered probit regression analyses indicate that students protest for different reasons in the four countries. We find statistical evidence that student protests are associated with grievances about the economy (Algeria and Morocco) and lack of democracy (Algeria only). Joint hypothesis tests reveal that the four grievances jointly matter in Algeria, Morocco, and Yemen but not Jordan.

Toutkoushian, R. K., M. N. Shafiq & M. Trivette (2013). "Accounting for risk of non-completion in private and social rates of return to higher education," Journal of Education Finance 39(1), pp. 73-95.

Conventional studies of the private and social rates of return to a Bachelor’s degree focus on the earnings difference between Bachelor degree holders and high school graduates, and find that there are large rates of return for degree recipients. These studies, however, do not take into account the risk of not completing a degree. By focusing on the private and social return to attending college, we view attending college as a treatment that may not be completed by some subjects. We begin by reviewing the methodology used in conventional studies of the private and social financial benefits from college, and show how it can be modified to take into account the risk of not completing college and the timing at which students may depart college. We test the sensitivity of our findings to whether students attend a public or private institution, the growth rate of real earnings, and the price paid by students. Overall, we find that although the dollar benefits from attending college are lower than they are for those who earn a Bachelor’s degree, the private and social internal rates of return are still large.

Using quantile regression analyses, this study examines gender gaps in mathematics, science, and reading in Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Jordan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Qatar, Tunisia, and Turkey among 15‐year‐old students. The analyses show that girls in Azerbaijan achieve as well as boys in mathematics and science and overachieve in reading. In Jordan, girls achieve as well as boys in all subjects. In Qatar and Turkey, girls underachieve in mathematics, achieve as well as boys in science and overachieve in reading. In Indonesia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tunisia, girls underachieve in mathematics and science but overachieve in reading. On the basis of the analyses, two generalizations can be made. First, key country‐level economic and social characteristics appear unrelated to achievement gender gaps. Second, the overachievement of girls in reading and underachievement in mathematics and science are similar to findings from non‐Muslim industrialized countries. More
Shafiq, M. N. (2013). "School enrollment in Iraq during the U.S.-led invasion: A statistical analysis," International Journal of Educational Development 33(2), pp. 130-138.
Little is known about the educational consequences in Iraq during the U.S.-led invasion of 2003–2010. This study examines school enrollment based on the 2007 Iraq Household Socio-Economic Survey. There are three main findings. First, a population-weighted analysis indicates that the school enrollment rate (72.3%) is lower than past Iraqi rates but comparable to that in neighboring Arab countries. Second, a multivariate analysis shows that boys and rural children are far more likely to be enrolled. Last, household opinions suggest that a key reason for non-enrollment is lack of child or parent interest. An analysis of adult labor force participants suggests that the lack of interest is attributable to weak employment prospects for educated youth. Data limitations, however, prevent an adequate inquiry into the plight of the internally displaced. More
There is general agreement that skill-enhancing school reforms in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are necessary for economic, political and social reasons. Using student- level data from Jordan and Tunisia, this study assesses the relationship between skills and the following school incentive and accountability measures: pedagogical autonomy, school competition, freedom to hire and fire teachers, publicly posting data, and parent involvement in school affairs. Quantile regression analyses of mathematics, science, and reading skills of 15-year- old students suggest that students in schools with incentive and accountability measures do not have higher skills than students in school without the measures; this suggests that schools with incentive and accountability measures are no more efficient than other schools that have not adopted the measures. In terms of equity, the reforms are not associated with higher skills for the less skilled; a notable exception is parent involvement in Tunisia, which is associated with higher science and reading skills among low-skilled students. The main policy implication is that school incentive- and accountability-based reform should not be pursued until researchers have identified the effective design properties of each incentive and accountability measure. More
Low household expenditure on education compromises the learning and future labour market prospects of children. This study provides an empirical framework for determining the criteria that South Asian policy-makers can use for assisting households with educational expenditure. A case study of urban Bangladesh using tobit and hurdle regression models indicate that households in the bottom two per capita quartiles should receive priority as recipients of policy assistance. Other criteria include households with parents who have not completed pri- mary schooling and households with boys, older children and multiple children of school-going age. More
Toutkoushian, R. K. & M. N. Shafiq (2010). "A conceptual analysis of state support for higher education: Appropriations versus need-based financial aid," Research in Higher Education 51(1), pp. 40-64.
In this paper, we use economic concepts to examine the choice that states make between giving appropriations to public colleges or need-based financial aid to students. We begin by reviewing the economic justification for state support for higher education. Next, we introduce a simple economic model for comparing and contrasting appropriations and need-based aid for supporting higher education. We then provide a graphical depiction of the model and simulate the effects of each policy on access to higher education. We show that it is in the best interest of states to provide need-based aid and not appropria- tions. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of the factors that complicate the reallocation of state funding away from appropriations and towards need-based aid. More
Patrinos, H. A. & M. N. Shafiq (2010). "An empirical illustration of positive stigma towards child labor," Economics Bulletin 30(1), pp. 799-807.
This empirical note complements the qualitative and theoretical research on positive household stigma towards child labor. We use data from Guatemala and two instruments for measuring stigma: a child's indigenous background and household head's childhood work experience. We then adopt binomial probit regression methods to illustrate that positive stigma has a large effect on child labor practices, and a modest effect on school enrollment. More
Shafiq, M. N. (2010). "Designing targeted educational voucher schemes for the poor in developing countries," International Review of Education 56(1), pp. 33-50.
A targeted educational voucher scheme (TEVS) is often proposed for the poor in developing countries. Essentially, TEVS involves issuing vouchers to poor households, thus enabling them to pay tuition and fees for their children’s schooling at participating non-public schools. However, little is known about TEVS’ design in developing countries. This article provides the foundation for constructing a TEVS and conducting subsequent scientific evaluations to support, modify or oppose such a sys- tem. Specifically, this article uses three policy instruments to design a TEVS: regulation, support services and finance. Regulation here refers to the rules that must be adhered to by participating households, children and schools. Support services refer to services facilitating the participation of children, households, schools, and financial and political supporters. Finance refers to the value of each voucher, total TEVS costs and sources of finance. More
Using micro-level public opinion data from the Pew Global Attitudes Project 2005, this study investigates the effect of educational attainment and income on support for democracy in five predominantly Muslim countries: Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Turkey. Holding all else constant and compared to not finishing primary education, this study finds that secondary education and higher education encourage support for democracy in Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan. The results therefore suggest that support for democracy is a social benefit of education in Jordan, Lebanon, and Pakistan. Regarding income, the results indicate that relative to the poor, those belonging to middle-income groups are more supportive of democracy in Lebanon and Turkey. Curiously, there is no statistical relationship between belonging to the richest groups and supporting democracy. More
Shafiq, M. N. & A. Sinno (2010). "Education, income, and attitudes on suicide bombing: Evidence from six Muslim countries," Journal of Conflict Resolution 54(1), pp. 146-178.
The authors examine the effect of educational attainment and income on support for suicide bombing among Muslim publics in six predominantly Muslim countries that have experienced suicide bombings: Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey. The authors make two contributions. First, they present a conceptual model, which has been lacking in the literature. Second, they consider attitudes toward two different targets of suicide bombings: civilians within the respondent’s country and Western military and political personnel in Iraq.The authors find that the effect of educational attainment and income on support for suicide bombings varies across countries and targets.The findings therefore draw attention to the difficulties of making generalizations about Muslim countries and the importance of distinguishing between targets of suicide bombings. More
This study addresses the little understood relationship between educational attainment and public attitudes towards war in four predominantly Muslim countries contemplating war: Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Turkey. The multivariate analysis using public opinion data suggests that the educational attainment of respondents has no statistically significant association with believing that war is necessary for obtaining justice. In a separate analysis, there is no statistically significant association between educational attainment and believing that UN approval is necessary before using military force to deal with an international threat. This study suggests that there is some validity to concerns raised by the UK’s Department for International Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that education may not be contributing to peaceful conflict resolution. More
Shafiq, M. N. (2010). "The effect of an economic crisis on education: An economic framework and evidence," Current Issues in Comparative Education 12(2), pp. 5-13.
This article provides an economic framework for understanding how an economic crisis affects children's educational outcomes; this framework shows that there are both negative (harmful) effects and positive (beneficial) effects on educational outcomes. A review of the empirical evidence suggests that the negative effects are typically stronger, and that national educational outcomes deteriorate during a crisis. Finally, a review of the interventions indicates that fee reduction, conditional cash transfers, media campaigns, and block grants help moderate the effects of an economic crisis on children's educational outcomes. More
Chudgar, A. & M. N. Shafiq (2010). "The impact of home and community factors on schooling in South Asia," Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education 40(4), pp. 517-534.
In this article, we review research on the economics and sociology of education to assess the relationships between family and community variables and children’s educational outcomes in South Asia. At the family level, we examine the variables of family socioeconomic status (SES), parental education, family structure, and religion and caste. At the community level, we assess the limited research on the relationships between economic, cultural, and social characteristics and children’s educational outcomes. The literature presents several consistent relationships between the roles of family and community characteristics in determining educational outcomes and reveals several possibilities for further research. More
Shafiq, M. N. (2009). "A reversal of educational fortune? Educational gender gaps in Bangladesh," Journal of International Development 21(1), pp. 137-155.
Historically, educational gender gaps in Bangladesh persisted as households invested more in the education of boys than girls. Recent anecdotal and descriptive reports, however, claim that Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in education. Using advanced empirical methods and nationally representative data, this study finds that urban and rural boys (relative to urban and rural girls) have a 7.4–27.4% lower likelihood of being enrolled in school, 0.4–1.5 fewer years of educational attainment and 9.7–30.8% lower likelihood of being literate. These findings draw attention to the causes of the reversal in the educational gender gap in Bangladesh. More
Compton, B., A. Uppala, N. Ahrendt, M. N. Shafiq, Y. Zhao, R. Banerji & D. Labaree (2009). "Moderated discussion: 2 Million Minutes," Comparative Education Review 53(1), pp. 113-137.
This study estimates the returns to boys’ education for rural Bangladeshi households by accounting for some conventionally neglected items: direct costs of education, foregone child labor earnings, and option value. The estimated returns are 13.5% for primary education, 7.8% for junior-secondary education, 12.9% for higher-secondary education, and 9.7% for higher education; the resulting option value from primary education is 5.3%. These results suggest that there is economic rationale for non-poor rural households to invest in boys’ education, especially at the primary level. More
Using empirical methods, this paper examines household schooling and child labor decisions in rural Bangladesh. The results suggest the following: poverty and low parental education are associated with lower schooling and greater child labor; asset-owning households are more likely to have children combine child labor with schooling; households choose the same activity for all children within the household, regardless of gender; there is a weak association between direct costs and household decisions; finally, higher child wages encourage households to practice child labor. More


Myers, J. P. & M. N. Shafiq (2015). Voucher scheme design and democratic culture in Sweden. American Journal of Education Forum, February.
Baker, David, Ruth Hayhoe, Stephen Heyneman, Keith Lewin, M. Najeeb Shafiq, Amy Stambach, Nelly Stromquist & Fran Vavrus (2008). "Response to Steven Klees' presidential address," invited contributors, Newsletter of the Comparative and International Education Society, May.


Book Chapters

Shafiq, M. N. (2014). "Benefits of primary and secondary education," in D. Brewer & L. Picus (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Educational Economics and Finance 1, pp. 72-76. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Shafiq, M. N. (2014). "International organizations," in D. Brewer & L. Picus (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Educational Economics and Finance 1, pp. 421-424. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Shafiq, M. N. & Y. Zhang (2014). "Labor market rate of return in developing countries," in D. Brewer & L. Picus (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Educational Economics and Finance 2, pp. 431-434. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Shafiq, M. Najeeb (2012). "Six questions about the World Bank's 2020 Education Sector Strategy," in Alexander Wiseman & Christopher Collins (Eds.), The World Bank's Education Policy Development and Revision, pp. 33-41. International Perspectives on Education and Society Series 16. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.
This chapter presents the findings from a series of interviews with
World Bank staff on the topic of the World Bank’s Education Sector
Strategy 2020. The six questions used in these interviews serve as the
template for the information presented in this chapter. This chapter provides a brief but important set of background information necessary
to understand the strategy and the following chapters because it
provides a reflective voice to the World Bank staff involved in the
development of the new strategy or familiar with the development
process. More


Shafiq, M. N. (2006). Understanding Household Schooling and Child Labor Decisions in Rural Bangladesh, Dissertation, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY. Ann Arbor: ProQuest/UMI, Publication No. AAT 3188790.
M. Najeeb Shafiq


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