Social Change and the Relationships between Education and Employment

Popul Res Policy Rev. 2009 Aug 1;28(4):533-549. doi: 10.1007/s11113-008-9117-2.


The relationships between education and employment have long been of interest to social scientists. During the transition from a completely agricultural economy to one that is developing nonfarm opportunities, however, the relationships between education and employment may dramatically change. We examine how two components of education-schooling enrollment and attainment-affect the transition to employment for men and women in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal. Using discrete-time event history models, we find that school enrollment tends to delay employment, while school attainment accelerates employment. We also test how these effects may have changed across successive cohorts. Over time, the effects of enrollment have become stronger, while the effects of attainment appear to have weakened. These shifts in the nature of education may be related to increasing conflict between student and employee roles, as well as changes in the types and availability of employment.