Patterns of educational attainment vary greatly across countries, and across population groups within countries. In some countries, virtually all children complete basic education whereas in others large groups fall short. The primary purpose of this research is to document and analyze these differences using a compilation of a variety of household-based data sets: Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS); Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS); Living Standards Measurement Study Surveys (LSMS); as well as country-specific Integrated Household Surveys (IHS) such as Socio-Economic Surveys.
As an illustration, the figure below shows dramatic differences in attainment by wealth. When households are ranked according to their wealth status (or more precisely, a proxy based on the assets owned by members of the household) there are striking differences in the attainment patterns of children from the richest 20 percent compared to the poorest 20 percent.