Literacy and School Attendance: A Recent History
A recent empirical paper by Le Nestour, Moscoviz, and Sandefur analyzes long-term literacy trends among women who completed Grade 5 or higher. Using data from Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, the authors examine reading proficiency based on simple sentences. They find that while there has been an increase in women's schooling, the proportion of Grade 5-completing women who could read has often decreased. The paper sheds light on the historical trajectories of learning outcomes and raises important questions about the causes and strategies for improving literacy.