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The 2017 Seventeenth Annual UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) celebrates student scholarly achievement and creative activities. Students from all disciplines participate in the URS. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances. 

Presentations are accompanied by discussions and multimedia.


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Saturday, April 22 • 2:50pm - 3:10pm
Differences in School Dropout Rate by Caste-ethnicity among 5-20 Year-olds in Nepal

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With a per capita income of less than 700 USD per year, Nepal is one of the poorest countries on earth. Wide gaps in income, healthcare access, educational attainment, and other socioeconomic factors exist between caste-ethnic groups in Nepal. Generally, the upper caste has the highest status, followed by indigenous peoples and then Dalits (who are also known as “untouchables”). Using data from the second and third rounds of the Nepal Living Standards Survey, we calculate disparities in school dropout rate between caste-ethnic groups in Nepal and use statistical tools to isolate the sources of these disparities. We find that the dropout rate among indigenous peoples is about 8 percentage points higher than that of the upper caste, and that the most important variables explaining this difference are socioeconomic factors (such as income and parental occupation), followed by demographic characteristics (such as sex, age, and marital status). The Dalit dropout rate is 12 percentage points higher than the upper caste rate, and the most important variables explaining this gap are socioeconomic factors, followed by geographic characteristics (such as ecological zone). These findings suggest that government policies designed to reduce caste-ethnic disparity in education in Nepal will have the greatest potential effect if they target people who, for instance, live in mountainous areas, are female and have married at a young age, or reside in Nepal’s Far-Western development region. The potential benefits of reducing school dropout among such people include higher incomes, increased access to healthcare, and greater peace and stability.


Saturday April 22, 2017 2:50pm - 3:10pm
John Q. Imholte Hall, Room #109 600 E 4th St., Morris MN 56267