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Changing Contexts in Which Youth Are Transitioning to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Converging Toward Developed Economies?

Jere R. Behrman and Piyali Sengupta




At the start of the twenty-first century, youth in developing countries are making transitions to adulthood in a changing world. Many researchers and other observers suggest, for example, that accelerating globalization is not only changing the world more rapidly than in earlier periods, but is making it more homogeneous, with increasing convergence of developing economies toward the developed economies, in many important dimensions.1

The purpose of this chapter is simple: To describe to what extent the contexts in which youth have been making transitions to adulthood in developing countries have been converging toward the developed economies. Some aspects of these changing contexts relate to overall economies and societies and affect many outcomes—not only the transitions of youth to adulthood. But the fact that they may have broader effects does not lessen their possible importance for youth in developing economies. Such descriptions do not, of course, tell us anything very persuasive about causality—such as whether globalization or particular components of globalization are causing con(di)vergence. However, they provide useful perspective on many dimensions of the changing contexts in which transitions to adulthood are occurring. They also show to what extent there has been

1  

Others, however, suggest that there may be important divergences, or that, whatever the processes, they are in some important respects to the disadvantage of many in the developing world. For discussion of many of these issues in the context of education and gender, for example, see Stromquist and Monkman (2000).



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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies 2 Changing Contexts in Which Youth Are Transitioning to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Converging Toward Developed Economies? Jere R. Behrman and Piyali Sengupta At the start of the twenty-first century, youth in developing countries are making transitions to adulthood in a changing world. Many researchers and other observers suggest, for example, that accelerating globalization is not only changing the world more rapidly than in earlier periods, but is making it more homogeneous, with increasing convergence of developing economies toward the developed economies, in many important dimensions.1 The purpose of this chapter is simple: To describe to what extent the contexts in which youth have been making transitions to adulthood in developing countries have been converging toward the developed economies. Some aspects of these changing contexts relate to overall economies and societies and affect many outcomes—not only the transitions of youth to adulthood. But the fact that they may have broader effects does not lessen their possible importance for youth in developing economies. Such descriptions do not, of course, tell us anything very persuasive about causality—such as whether globalization or particular components of globalization are causing con(di)vergence. However, they provide useful perspective on many dimensions of the changing contexts in which transitions to adulthood are occurring. They also show to what extent there has been 1   Others, however, suggest that there may be important divergences, or that, whatever the processes, they are in some important respects to the disadvantage of many in the developing world. For discussion of many of these issues in the context of education and gender, for example, see Stromquist and Monkman (2000).

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies convergence or divergence (or a mixture of both) in a number of important dimensions among countries grouped by geographical region.2 The descriptions summarized in this chapter are based on time series of aggregate country-level data for more than 100 selected variables, many of which have been used widely to characterize cross-country patterns.3 These variables, in turn, are grouped into seven categories that relate to indicators of: Population Economy Labor Health Education Environment Transportation and Communication Because of the perceived importance of gender, we include explicit representations of what has happened to gender differentials in those categories in which the data permit such comparisons—namely population, labor, health, and education. The descriptions presented here focus on the extent to which the selected indicators, in each of these seven categories of variables, have changed in the direction of convergence or divergence, or have shown a mixture of convergence and divergence. For this purpose, developing countries are grouped into six regions (with individual countries weighted by population) as defined by the World Bank.4 These regions are East Asia and the Pacific, 2   Behrman and Sengupta (2004) also provide similar descriptions for countries grouped by per capita income in 1987. 3   These data are from the World Bank World Development Indicators, 2003 CD-ROM, which gives the original sources of the data. These data have limitations that have been discussed extensively elsewhere (e.g., Ahmad, 1994; Behrman and Rosenzweig, 1994; Bouis, 1994; Chamie, 1994; Heston, 1994; Lloyd and Hewett, 2003; Srinivasan, 1994). The interested reader is referred to these discussions. Despite the many limitations in such data, the patterns in them shape considerably what it is thought that we know about cross-country differences and changes in those differences over time at least at a crude level. Therefore, we use these data with this blanket caveat about their limitations—but without repeated qualifications except in occasional cases in which the qualifications seem to enhance understanding of the nature of patterns in the data. 4   The original source is given in the previous note and Behrman and Sengupta (2004, Appendix B) give the country allocations by these six regions. Some of these geographical regions, of course, include developed as well as developing countries (particularly Europe and Central Asia but also East Asia and the Pacific), but the data summarized for these regions in this chapter refer only to the developing countries in the region (with the developed countries in all regions included in the developed country group with which the developing country groups are compared). Of course, in addition to important patterns on the average for countries grouped by region, there may be important variations within these country groups. But it would be too complicated to attempt to characterize such intracountry group variations in a chapter of this length.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. We describe the extent of convergence or divergence by an index that compares in percentage terms the ratio of the developing country to the developed country value in the last year for which data are available (generally 2000 or 2001), with the same ratio for the first year for which data are generally available (generally in the 1960s and 1970s, but some in the 1980s and, for a few variables, data are available only for the 1990s, such as number of Internet users or mobile phones per 100 people, or public expenditure on health).5 A positive value indicates movement toward convergence and a negative value, divergence. Convergence or divergence is always measured in reference to the paths of the developed country characteristics.6 However, to shorten the exposition below, we usually summarize the recent history of a variable as having been in the direction of “convergence” or “divergence,” without repeatedly stating that the reference group is the developed countries. Because we are focusing on how developing country characteristics compare with the developed country characteristics as the latter change over time, we are assessing “convergence” or “divergence” with respect to a moving target. As we note below, for some of the characteristics we consider, there have been large changes in the developed country characteristics over time so that even if the developing country values have, for example, changed a lot in the direction of the developed country characteristics, they may not have changed enough for there to have been convergence. An important example, to illustrate, is per capita national product. For most (not all) developing country groups, there have been increases in recent decades, but in many cases the increases have not been as great as those for the developed country group—so there has been divergence despite the secular increases. 5   To be more explicit, the index = 100* [(Region value for 2000)/(Developed Country value for 2000) – (Region value for earliest year data available)/(Developed Country value for earliest year data available)] for variables for which (Region value for earliest year data available)/(Developed Country value for earliest year data available) is < 1. This condition holds for most of the variables, but not for some (e.g., exceptions include a number of the population variables such as the dependency ratio and the share of agriculture in production). For the variables for which (Region value for earliest year data available)/(Developed Country value for earliest year data available) is > 1, the index is −100* [(Region value for 2000)/(Developed Country value for 2000) − (Region value for earliest year data available)/(Developed Country value for earliest year data available). The last column in Table 2-1 gives the first and last year used for each of the variables that we consider. 6   And not, for example, whether there is convergence or divergence among the developing country groups, though, of course, to the extent that for some characteristics the developing country groups converge toward the characteristics of the developed countries, there is also likely (though not with certainty) to be convergence of these characteristics among the developing countries.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies The convergence/divergence index that we use gives the change in percentage points over the whole time period considered, relative to developed country values.7 If, to illustrate, for the earliest year covered a developing country group per capita income were 15 percent of that for the developed country group and for the most recent year the same developing country group per capita income were 18 percent of that for developed countries, the index is 3 percent (18 percent minus 15 percent), indicating convergence with the developing country group; in other words, it represents catching up by 3 percent, relative to the developed country group, over the interim. If, instead, the developing country group per capita income were 15 percent of that of the developed countries in the earliest year covered and fell to 10 percent of that of the developed countries in the most recent year, the index would be −5 percent (10 percent minus 15 percent), indicating divergence by 5 percent from the developed country value over the period considered. Although the index refers to the whole period, of course, there may be combinations of convergence and divergence over the period, even if one or the other dominates. To illustrate, in the first example given in this paragraph, there is convergence of 3 percent over the entire period. However, there may have been divergence for part of the period. For example, suppose the value were 20 percent two thirds of the way through the entire period. That would indicate a divergence of −2 percent for the last third of the period, despite an overall convergence of 3 percent for the entire period. In the remainder of the chapter we summarize the patterns of convergence and divergence by developing country regional group, on the basis of this index. We consider, in turn, each of the seven variable groups defined above, focusing on the numerical values of our convergence index (shown in Table 2-1) for much of the discussion. For selected variables we also present one of two types of graphs or figures. For most of the variables, the figures give the ratio of the developing country group to the developed country group over time so that the horizontal line at 1.0 in the figures represents the developed country group experience. For a subset of variables, for which the developed country group has very small and varying values over time—such as overall population growth rates on the share of total employment in agriculture—using such values as denominators does not lead to very informative graphs. For this subset of variables, therefore, we present the values for all the country groups (including the developed countries), but NOT relative to the values for the developed countries. (The titles of the figures indicate whether they are “compared to developed countries = 1.0,” as they are for the first type of figures.) These figures present more information about the patterns of convergence and divergence 7   If the developed country values are very small (e.g., as for illiteracy rates), this index can have very large values in absolute terms. See the discussion below of the two types of figures we present.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies than do the numerical values of the indices because the figures show the paths between the initial values and the end points, while the index just summarizes the changes between the initial values and the end points. The figures also suggest in a number of cases that there are subperiods of convergence and divergence, even though one or the other dominates over the entire period considered. However, the figures take considerable space, so we only present selected ones even though we have generated such figures for all the variables (Behrman and Sengupta, 2004, present a larger set of figures). We indicate in the text explicitly when we include figures because they are included only in selected cases. POPULATION We begin with population because aspects of population condition so many of the contexts in which youth make transitions to adulthood. Some of these effects are direct and others work through other groups of variables considered in the sections below. Population Growth, Fertility Rates, and Mortality Rates The patterns of the demographic transition, lagged to various degrees in various developing country groups behind that experienced by the developed country group, result in convergence being the dominant feature for population growth rates despite the very low and declining population growth rates for the developed economies (Figure 2-1).8 However, this pattern is not universal, with both Europe and Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa diverging from the (declining) population growth rates for the developed countries. For birth rates and total fertility rates, in contrast, the dominant tendency is for divergence, particularly before 1985. The only exceptions are Europe and Central Asia for birth rates and Latin America and the Caribbean for total fertility rates. The dominance of divergence for fertility rates, however, tends to be offset by considerable convergence for mortality rates so that the overall dominant tendency is for convergence in terms of population growth rates, as noted above.9 Mortality rates have been converging 8   The low and declining population growth rates in the developed countries also cause the indices for population growth to have large absolute values. This is also the case for other variables discussed below for which the developing country values are relatively small, such as the percentage of value added or workers in agriculture. 9   Net international migration, in addition to fertility and mortality, also affects population growth rates. We have not been able to find useful data on net international migration. However, although international migration may have considerable impact on population growth of some individual countries, it is not likely to be nearly as important as fertility and mortality for the large aggregates of country groups that we are considering.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies TABLE 2-1a Index of Convergence/Divergence by Region Indicators East Asia and the Pacific Europe and Central Asia POPULATION     Population Growth, Fertility, and Mortality     Population growth 64.0 −43.9 Birth rate −25.3 15.5 Fertility ratio −19.5 −5.9 Death rate 75.2 −27.6 Age Structure     Age dependency ratio 4.9 3.5 Population, 0-14 years (% total) −25.1 −5.6 Female population, 0-14 years (% age group pop.) 0.3 0.2 Male population, 0-14 years (% age group pop.) 0.3 0.2 Population, 65 years and higher (% total) −3.7 0.2 Population, 15-64 years (% total) 2.7 1.4 Female population, 15-64 years (% age group pop.) 2.4 3.7 Male population, 15-64 years (% age group pop.) 2.3 3.7 Rural-Urban Composition     Rural population growth 928.1 −77.6 Rural population (% total) −59.0 −28.4 Urban population growth −61.6 94.3 Urban population (% total) 17.8 11.2 Female-to-Male Sex Ratio     Sex ratio 1.6 −3.9 Sex ratio, 0-14 years −0.6 −0.3 Sex ratio, 15-64 years 4.6 8.7 Sex ratio, 65 years and higher 14.3 −12.8 Other     Population density −0.2 −5.7 Female population (% total) 1.0 1.6 aLatest year available for high-income countries: 1995; therefore, 1995 was used as the latest year in the convergence index. All other income groups were represented in comparison to the high-income category.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies Latin America and the Caribbean Middle East and North Africa South Asia Sub-Saharan Africa Data Availability: First and Final Years 57.3 −116.4 142.9 150.8 1960/2001 −0.1 −12.1 −54.9 −93.6 1960/2001 14.8 −14.6 −53.4 −100.8 1960/2001 42.3 116.2 97.5 35.4 1960/2001 13.0 −6.5 −27.4 −44.3 1960/2001 −12.0 −35.1 −49.8 −66.3 1960/2001 0.2 −0.3 2.3 −0.8 1960/2001 0.2 −0.3 −2.2 −0.8 1960/2001 −1.4 −14.3 −14.1 −14.5 1960/2001 6.2 1.2 −5.2 −8.9 1960/2001 −1.5 0.2 5.0 −0.5 1960/2001 −1.4 0.2 4.8 −0.4 1960/2001 371.4 410.0 1171.6 979.3 1965/2001 −15.2 32.4 −101.8 −47.2 1960/2001 −55.2 −29.3 −176.2 −126.3 1960/2001 11.9 30.1 11.2 25.8 1960/2001 −1.5 −1.0 5.4 2.2 1960/2001 −0.3 −0.7 4.6 1.6 1960/2001 −3.0 −0.1 −9.3 −1.0 1960/2001 10.5 6.9 3.7 5.7 1960/2001 −3.4 −0.6 4.6 0.9 1965/2001a −1.0 −0.5 3.1 0.9 1960/2001

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies TABLE 2-1b Index of Convergence/Divergence by Region Indicators East Asia and the Pacific Europe and Central Asia ECONOMY     GDP Growth Rates and Levels     % annual GDP growth 41.2 72.9 Per cap GDP (constant 1995 U.S. dollar) 0.7 −7.6 Per cap GDP (PPP) 2.9 −11.9 Per cap GNI (PPP) 3.6 −12.5 Shares of Production in Major Sectors     Value added in agriculture −141.6 −193.1 Value added in industry 45.3 65.4 Value added in services 17.5 −3.8 Openness to International Trade     Economic openness −176.7 76.8 Exports (% GDP) 23.6 87.1 Imports (% GDP) 50.9 106.9 Role of Government     Tax revenue −11.3 50.8 Health expenditure per capita 1.7 0.6 Public expenditure on health 55.7 63.4 Public expenditure on education −5.0 29.6 Other     Wage expenditure 1.0 −4.6 Tourism expenditure 14.5 53.9 Expenditure on goods and services 23.6 54.4 aEarliest year available for ECA: 1970.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies Latin America and the Caribbean Middle East and North Africa South Asia Sub-Saharan Africa Data Availability: First and Final Years −26.6 82.5 81.3 −19.4 1965/2000 −3.0 0.6 0.6 −2.4 1960/2001 −2.1 −9.3 1.8 −3.5 1975/2000 −1.8 −5.7 2.3 −2.9 1975/2000 −23.6 144.4 −168.1 −161.5 1960/2001a 95.1 65.4 −7.6 −4.3 1960/2001a 30.2 0.3 16.8 16.1 1960/2001a 37.8 795.6 −12.5 301.4 1960/2001a −18.0 52.1 −8.3 −17.8 1960/2001a −5.1 42.9 3.0 −6.2 1960/2001a 6.7 1.0 −34.5 3.4 1970/2001 3.9 4.0 0.3 −0.6 1990/2000 63.5 50.2 37.2 42.8 1990/2000 11.0 14.9 14.3 35.9 1960/2000 −4.1 0.2 −3.1 −6.4 1970/2001 47.7 −20.9 22.2 −4.1 1980/2001 67.2 14.0 10.8 88.0 1970/2001

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies TABLE 2-1c Index of Convergence/Divergence by Region Indicators East Asia and the Pacific Europe and Central Asia LABOR     Labor Force Activity, Gender and Child Labor     Female labor force activity rate 62.6 69.9 Female labor force (% total labor force) 36.5 50.1 Male labor force activity rate 3.9 0.4 Child labor, 10-14 years (% age group) −22705.3 603.6 Sectoral Distribution of Employment     Employment in agriculture (% total employment) 59.9 −222.4 Employment in industry (% total employment) 29.9 33.5 Employment in services (% total employment) 25.4 15.8 Female agriculture employees (% total female employment) 384.5 −289.6 Male agriculture employees (% total male employment) 504.2 96.7 Female industry employees (% total female employment) 71.0 −15.7 Male industry employees (% total male employment) 47.3 6.3 Female services employees (% total female employment) 44.3 27.4 Male services employees (% total male employment) 46.8 26.4 Unemployment Rates, Gender, and Youth     Unemployment (% total labor force) −93.3 12.5 Female unemployment (% female labor force) 77.0 7.4 Male unemployment (% male labor force) 93.1 −68.6 Youth unemployment (% 15-24 years labor force) −53.6 −65.4 Youth female unemployment (% 15-24 years female labor force) 164.7 −35.9 Youth male unemployment (% 15-24 years male labor force) −82.1 −6.8 aLatest year available for ECA: 1999. bLatest year available for MENA, SA, and SSA: 1999. cEarliest year available for SSA: 1990.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies Latin America and the Caribbean Middle East and North Africa South Asia Sub-Saharan Africa Data Availability: First and Final Years −1.2 −5.1 70.7 97.4 1960/1999 0.3 1.9 35.6 55.2 1960/2001 4.1 −3.6 7.2 −7.5 1960/1999 −11656.9 −5028.7 −49079.6 −61165.0 1960/2001 −124.6 274.0 −203.2 −456.3 1980/2000 13.2 −70.1 −30.8 −37.1 1980/2000a −2.2 16.0 22.8 52.3 1980/2000 −101.2 −913.9 −304.0 477.9 1980/2000b −7.6 −22.8 78.3 401.2 1980/2000 48.3 67.5 110.1 40.3 1980/2000 7.1 −1.0 18.3 23.7 1980/2000 12.0 −17.3 36.4 62.2 1980/2000 3.2 8.8 32.2 54.3 1980/2000 127.1 23.3 −232.4 −196.7 1980/2000c 15.1 −111.0 −91.5 −8.3 1980/2000d 40.9 109.5 1.1 4.8 1980/2000d 58.7 10.5 392.7 −4857.0 1980/2000e −145.8 −41.6 −36.6 −400.8 1980/2000e −106.4 103.4 6.4 −420.4 1980/2000e dEarliest year available for ECA: 1985; for SA: 1990; Latest year available for MENA, SA, and SSA: 1999. eEarliest year available for ECA, MENA, and SSA: 1990; for SA: 1985; Latest year available for MENA and SA: 1995.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies FIGURE 2-11 Male-female difference in life expectancy (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time. regard to the discussion of population sex ratios. In fact, since 1985 life expectancies for females have exceeded those for males on average in all the developing country regions, as well as the developed country regions. This does not mean that there is discrimination in the distribution of health-related resources against males because some life expectancy differences may be biological rather than behavioral. But apparently even in the developed countries, some of the differences are behavioral (e.g., consumption of tobacco and alcohol products, undertaking risky and stressful activities), with the result that the gender difference in life expectancies favoring females has varied over time (e.g., 4.8 years in 1960, increasing to 6.2 years in 1980, and declining to 5.5 years in 2000). The divergence in gender differences for life expectancies in Europe and Central Asia seems to be part of the convergence to the patterns in other better performing developing country regions that is noted above with respect to overall life expectancies. The divergence in gender differences for life expectancies in sub-Saharan Africa may reflect the feminization of the incidence of HIV/AIDS in that region and possibly that females are more marginalized when economies are stagnant (though the latter factor does not seem to have dominated in Latin America and the Caribbean, which also has been relatively stagnant economically in recent decades).

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies Health Determinants Many, and perhaps the most important, health determinants reflect a range of behavioral choices related to nutrition, physical activity, and risky behaviors. Unfortunately we have not been able to locate comparable data on such activities across countries for the time periods covered. But fragmented evidence suggests at least some convergence in such behaviors, including in some behaviors (e.g., smoking, diet) that may be deleterious to health. What we have been able to compare are a limited set of indicators of curative health. As we note above in the discussion of governmental expenditures in the section on the economy, the share of public health expenditures has converged substantially in all regions. In addition, we consider indices for DPT vaccination, measles vaccination, physicians per 1,000 people, and hospital beds per 1,000 people. The indices suggest that movement toward convergence is predominant for vaccinations. There also has been movement toward convergence in number of physicians per 1,000 people in East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, and in the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people in East Asia and the Pacific and in Europe and Central Asia (but only barely). EDUCATION Education is widely viewed as critical in improving transitions to adulthood in developing countries, particularly if there are rapidly changing conditions and increased marketization. As noted in Chapter 3 (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2005), the form that education takes generally changes in the development process from learning-by-doing in family-related jobs to formal schooling and subsequent learning-by-doing in wage jobs. Schooling Enrollments Overall and Gender Differences Gross primary and secondary schooling enrollments have both converged substantially for all the developing country groups. For primary schooling, this basically represents a catch-up to a stable target, because in the developed countries, gross primary enrollments have been basically 100 percent, at least since 1970. For secondary schooling, the convergence is more impressive because gross secondary school enrollments in the developed countries have increased substantially—from 64 percent in 1970 to 106 percent in 2000.15 Thus there has been substantial convergence at the 15   Gross enrollments can exceed 100 percent because they are calculated as the number of students attending a school level (of whatever age) relative to the size of the population for the ages for which that school level would be relevant if students entered school at the minimum age and progressed one grade each year, until they graduated from that school level.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies secondary level despite a significantly increasing moving target. These relative enrollment increases in the developing countries, together with those at the tertiary level, have implied significant convergence in the expected schooling for synthetic cohorts, as well as the average schooling of adults—changing considerably the educational human capital acquired by youth in developing countries. There also have been striking changes in gender differences in enrollments. The absolute gender differences favoring males in gross enrollments at both the primary and the secondary levels have fallen substantially for all the country groups that we consider—and in some cases have even been reversed (Figures 2-12 and 2-13). Schooling Inputs We have been able to locate little information with which to make comparisons over time regarding schooling inputs. We have already discussed, in the section on the economy, the predominant tendency for the share of public expenditures devoted to education to move toward convergence. One other indicator that we have been able to find pertains to the pupil-teacher ratio. This indicator suggests general divergence, with the FIGURE 2-12 Male-female difference in gross primary enrollment (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies FIGURE 2-13 Male-female difference in gross secondary enrollment (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time. exception of the Europe and Central Asia region. This is a reflection of the relatively large cohorts of school-age children who have been passing through school systems in developing countries, together with the increasing enrollment rates, during recent decades. Looking forward, however, the combination of more educated adults due to the substantial schooling expansion (the pool from which teachers will be drawn) and the spread to additional developing regions beyond East Asia and the Pacific of the “demographic bonus” is likely to make possible increases in resources (including teachers) per student and in schooling quality more broadly defined. ENVIRONMENT We consider carbon dioxide emissions (total, Kg per GDP in PPP dollars, per capita) and electric power per capita in assessing the impact that environmental factors might have on the changing climate in which youth make transitions to adulthood. The predominant tendencies are toward convergence. This is particularly the case for carbon dioxide emissions per

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies GDP in PPP dollars, which in the case of the developed country measure, declines sharply (to less than a third of its 1975 value by 2000); therefore, the extent of convergence in the developing countries is all the more striking. The convergence by the other measures is less, in part because of the divergence outside of Asia in per capita GDP in PPP terms, noted in the discussion of the section on economy. But generally there is still convergence, though less so in Europe and Central Asia, which (alone among the regions) experienced per capita declines in both carbon dioxide emissions and electric power after 1990 (i.e., after the demise of the Soviet Union). Therefore, while carbon dioxide emissions in general have increased recently (with the exception just noted), suggesting some deterioration in these aspects of the environments in which youth are becoming adults, at the same time the economies in which they live are becoming more like those in the developed countries with falling emissions per unit of real product. TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION Increased transportation and communication, of course, are critical channels through which phenomena such as globalization are often presumed to occur. This suggests that the greater the expansion of transportation and communication (given that the developing countries in most respects are less intensive regarding transportation and communication than the developed countries), the greater the convergence of variables in all the groups that we consider. In most cases, it would seem that the more rapid the expansion of transportation and communication the more the developing countries are converging toward the (changing) developed countries in terms of transportation and communication per se. Air Transport The number of air passengers has increased substantially in the developed countries in recent decades—by a factor of about 3.5 between 1970 and 2000. This means that for there to have been some convergence, the number of air passengers in developing countries would have had to increase even more rapidly. In fact, there has been considerable convergence by this measure recently in East Asia and the Pacific, and a somewhat lesser convergence in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa—but not much relative change in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and some divergence in Europe and Central Asia (Figure 2-14). For the number of aircraft departures, the patterns are similar, though with about as much convergence in Latin America and the Caribbean as in East Asia and the Pacific and with divergence only in South Asia.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies FIGURE 2-14 Number of air passengers (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time. Vehicular Transport Convergence has been the primary tendency, though with exceptions. Vehicles per 1,000 people, for example, have tended to converge strongly for East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America and the Caribbean—though not in South Asia. Taking into consideration all the indicators included in the tables, the convergence tends to have been greatest and most consistent in East Asia and the Pacific, and probably least in South Asia, though there are also mixed patterns in the other four regions. Communication For most of the available indicators for most regions, a tendency for convergence has been the norm—though with exceptions that tend to be concentrated among older communication media (e.g., radio sets per 1,000 people, newspaper circulation per 1,000 people). Sub-Saharan Africa (all phone and mobile phone subscriptions per 1,000 people and Internet users) also seems to be an exception to this general trend of convergence exhibited by the other developing regions. Some interesting examples for different

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies types of communication are provided by radio sets per 1,000 people, phone subscriptions per 1,000 people, personal computers per 1,000 people, and Internet users (Figures 2-15 through 2-18). There seem to be some weak tendencies for convergence to have been the greatest for Europe and Central Asia, probably with East Asia and the Pacific ranking second, and the least for sub-Saharan Africa. Thus for both transportation and communication, there has been a much greater tendency for convergence than for divergence for developing country regions. These tendencies have been a little stronger for East Asia and the Pacific in transportation and for Europe and Central Asia in communication, and weakest for South Asia in transportation and sub-Saharan Africa in communication. But generally there have been considerable changes, basically in the direction of the (again, changing) transportation and communication structures of the developed countries in the contexts in which youth in the developing world have been making transitions to adulthood. These changes are associated with greater mobility and greater information about the broader world, both of which would seem to be associated with changed—and probably increased—options and with lessened tendencies to choose traditional options. FIGURE 2-15 Radios per 1,000 people (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time.

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies FIGURE 2-16 Telephone (fixed line and mobile) subscriptions per 1,000 people (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time. CONCLUSIONS The developing countries have tended to converge toward the characteristics of the developed countries in a number of important respects in recent decades. But there also has been significant divergence in some other respects. Furthermore, there has been considerable variance among the seven groups of indicators considered and among developing country regions. The tendency for convergence has been considerable for the available indicators of health, education, environment, transportation and communication, and gender differences, but somewhat less for the other indicators. Though there has been a tendency for convergence for many aspects of the economy, the pattern is mixed for the important overall indicators of economic growth rates and for per capita product. In particular, two of the regions—Latin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa—have diverged negatively with regard to economic growth rates. Only two of the regions—East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia—have been converging rather than diverging in terms of per capita real product. Though the majority of youth in the developing world live in the latter two regions, a significant minority lives in the other regions, for which there has been a

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies FIGURE 2-17 Personal computers per 1,000 people (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time. tendency for divergence for per capita real product. Taking into consideration all the indicators, the region of East Asia and the Pacific generally has converged most toward developed economics and sub-Saharan Africa least. The other regions are in between, with Europe and Central Asia in several cases diverging from the developed economies, but converging toward the more developed of the developing regions. Such results suggest that the dominant thrust, as suggested by many observers of globalization, has been toward a more integrated and more similar world in which youth are making transitions to adulthood. This implies many changes for current youth in comparison with previous generations: much more dependence on markets than on family enterprises for jobs; much more emphasis on formal schooling than on learning by working with parents and other relatives; much more awareness of options and lifestyles from the broader world than just from the local community; longer life expectancies and less susceptibility to infectious diseases; smaller gender gaps favoring males; and much more mobility in a number of dimensions. But this major thrust should be qualified by important nuances that differ importantly among the regions and with respect to various indi-

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The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Selected Studies FIGURE 2-18 Internet users (compared to developed countries = 1.0) by region over time. cators. Opportunities for youth in East Asia and the Pacific have changed differently in important respects from those, for example in sub-Saharan Africa or Europe and Central Asia. Therefore, analysis of changing transitions to adulthood in developing countries needs to be sensitive both to the predominant tendencies toward convergence and to some important tendencies toward divergence. REFERENCES Ahmad, S. (1994). Improving inter-spatial and inter-temporal comparability of national accounts. Journal of Development Economics, 44(1), 53-76. Alderman, H., Behrman, J.R., and Hoddinott, J. (2005). Nutrition, malnutrition, and economic growth. In G. López-Casasnovas, B. Rivera, and L. Currais (Eds.), Health and economic growth: Findings and policy implications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Behrman, J.R., and Rosenzweig, M.R. (1994). Caveat emptor: Cross-country data on education and the labor force. Journal of Development Economics, 44(1), 147-172. Behrman, J.R., and Sengupta, P. (2004). Convergence? Divergence? Or some of both? Major trends in selected indicators among country groups in recent decades. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania. Behrman, J.R., Duryea, S., and Székely, M. (2003). Aging and economic opportunities: Major world regions around the turn of the century. In O. Attanasio and M. Székely (Eds.), A dynamic analysis of household decision-making in Latin America. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.

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