The Schooling Gap

The Schooling Gap between the Deep South and the Rest of the South in Thailand


Md. Nasir Uddin and Saran Sarntisart* Graduate School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)


          This paper aims to compare the educational attainment of a conflict region (the Deep South) and a non-conflict region (the rest of the South) of Thailand using the Socio-Economic Survey, 2015. This paper employs the Instrumental Variable approach and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition in an intergenerational regression model. When controlling parental schooling, household income and size, religion, and gender, the results show that children from the Deep

          South obtain almost one year less schooling than children from the rest of the Southern region. Interestingly, Muslims are ahead in terms of educational attainment when compared to non-Muslims in the non-conflict region, but not in the conflict region. Females outperform males in both regions, but the coefficient of female dummy is higher in the non-conflict region. Moreover, the rate of intergenerational transmission of educational attainment is higher in the Deep South compared to that in the rest of the southern region, which may lead to longterm educational inequality in the Deep South region. The OaxacaBlinder decomposition confirms that the 40% schooling gap between these two regions is unexplained but might be due to the chronic social unrest. The findings of this paper show that customized educational reforms and policies to resolve the conflict in the Deep South of Thailand should be employed.