Can eliminating school fees in poor districts boost enrollment? Evidence from South Africa
AbstractThe charging of school user fees is a much-debated policy issue in developing countries. In this paper, I evaluate the impact of a South African fee elimination program that was targeted at the poorest two quintiles of schools based on a community poverty score. Fixed effects estimates find that the program increased enrollment by almost 2% in treated secondary schools, an increase concentrated in earlier secondary grades. There is substantial heterogeneity in the estimated secondary school effect: it is driven entirely by an increase of around 3.5% in the poorer of the two treated quintiles. Regression discontinuity estimates confirm that the relatively wealthy schools near the treatment cutoff did not experience any effects on enrollment. Overall, the abolition of fees seems to have been reasonably effective in increasing secondary school enrollment in particularly poor communities. This is despite the fact that the eliminated fees were relatively low, comprising only around 1.5% of annual household income (per child) in these communities.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0910-06.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1022 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-8059
Web page: http://www.econ.columbia.edu/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2009-11-21 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-11-21 (Development)
- NEP-LAB-2009-11-21 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2009-11-21 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-URE-2009-11-21 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Discussion Paper Coordinator).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.