Schooling is thought to be of great importance in Latin America and elsewhere in the developing world. The World Bank (1980, 1981), Colclough (1982), Psacharopoulos (1981, 1983), and others emphasize strongly the critical role of schooling in increasing productivity, equalizing income distribution, improving health and nutrition, reducing fertility and in pursuing other objectives.
In part because of such emphasis, there have been considerable and increasing resources devoted to schooling in recent decades in Latin America and in other developing regions. There also have been numerous studies that attempt to evaluate what determines investment in schooling and what are the private and social rates of return to schooling. The latter group of studies generally finds that such returns are fairly high, suggesting that expanding schooling indeed should be a high priority activity.