Are the estimated inequalities in distribution of years of schooling for the adult population comparable across countries given the differences in school systems?
Years of schooling of adults is mostly derived from the highest level of schooling achieved. Using UNESCO’s country information on the duration of schooling needed for each level, the highest level of schooling is converted into years. While the duration of primary, secondary and most of post-secondary education is more or less standardized, the very high levels of education—masters and doctoral studies—vary in length across countries. However, the Atkinson measure of inequality, which is used to assess inequality in the education components, is less sensitive to differences at the upper end of the distribution.