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Do Public Colleges in Developing Countries Provide Better Education than Private ones? Evidence from General Education Sector in India

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  • Yona Rubinstein
  • Sheetal Sekhri

Abstract

Public college graduates in many developing countries outperform graduates of private ones on the college exit exams. This has often been attributed to the cutting edge education provided in public colleges. However, public colleges are highly subsidized, suggesting that the private-public education outcome gap might reflect the pre-determined quality of the students who sort into public colleges rather than the causal impact of the public tertiary education on students' outcomes. We evaluate the impact of public colleges using a newly assembled unique data set that links admission data with the educational outcomes on a set of common exit exams in India. Admission to general education public colleges is strictly based on the results of the Senior Secondary School examinations. We exploit this feature in a Regression Discontinuity Design, and find that the public colleges have no added value in the neighborhood of the admission cut off scores.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0130.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0130

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Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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Keywords: private education; public education; India;

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  1. Imbens, Guido W. & Kalyanaraman, Karthik, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," IZA Discussion Papers 3995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Pawan Agarwal, 2006. "Higher Education in India: The Need for Change," Working Papers id:576, eSocialSciences.
  3. W. Bentley MacLeod & Miguel Urquiola, 2009. "Anti-Lemons: School Reputation and Educational Quality," NBER Working Papers 15112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  6. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  7. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  8. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Peer Effects and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 7043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Katja Maria Kaufmann & Matthias Messner & Alex Solis, 2013. "Returns to Elite Higher Education in the Marriage Market: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers 489, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Urquiola, Miguel, 2012. "Competition and Educational Productivity: Incentives Writ Large," IZA Discussion Papers 7063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2014. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 234-63, July.
  4. Chiara Binelli & Marta Rubio Codina, 2012. "The returns to private education: evidence from Mexico," IFS Working Papers W12/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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