Returns to Education in Suriname

Gardiner, Sophie;
Jul 2013
We analyze the relationship between education and employment in Suriname, using data from a 2007 IDB household survey (representative nationally and at the level of three macro areas: Urban Coast, Rural Coast and Interior). We find that education brings returns in terms of both likelihood of employment (particularly for women) and higher earnings. Completed primary, junior secondary, senior secondary and tertiary education increase the probability of employment by 12%, 19%, 86% and 84% respectively, relative to the base category of no-schooling or incomplete primary. In addition, senior secondary and tertiary education lead to 46% and 81% higher earnings, relative to peer individuals with junior secondary education or less. These returns to education are relatively high in the context of the Caribbean. Nonetheless, higher educational achievements are associated with a transition towards public sector jobs, suggesting that the private sector is scarcely dynamic, and unable to attract skilled workers.