Peter Nardulli, Buddy Peyton, and Joe Bajjalieh, "Gauging Cross‐National Differences in Education Attainment", November 2012

Educational attainment is both a driver of developmental processes and a key indicator of human development. Yet cross-national data on educational attainment for the post WWII era is spotty, despite significant efforts by the UN and several highly respected academic teams to compile it. Compounding the data availability problems in this area is the uneven distribution of missing information across regions of the world: the highest rates of missing data are in Africa and the post-Soviet states. This situation is lamentable because the uneven distribution of data has the potential to seriously skew efforts to understand the developmental role of education. The Educational Attainment Project extends this data archive by scouring national reports and websites, identifying new sources of educational attainment data, extending established data estimation techniques, and developing new estimation procedures. The result is a new archive of educational attainment data that extends from 1950 (or independence) until 2005 covering 166 countries.