Language use in education and primary schooling attainment: evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia
AbstractThe extensive use of foreign languages in schooling might have an important role to play in the poor educational outcomes observed on the African continent. Exploiting the language policy change of 1994 in Ethiopia as a natural experiment, we estimate the effects of provision of mother tongue instruction on the largest ethnic group in the country. Our results suggest that provision of mother tongue education led to an increase of 0.75 to 1 year of primary schooling in the affected cohort. Moreover the entire increase in the years of schooling can be attributed to the intensive margin of education. The language policy change, conditional on enrolment, increased the percentage of people completing 6 years or more of schooling by 31%. Applying our findings to a set of African countries shows that even after accounting for the costs of provision, introduction of mother tongue instruction imply potentially large benefits and increases the percentage of population completing primary schooling by as much as 15% points. These finding have important policy implications at a time when surging enrolment rates and already stretched educational budgets in the African continent imply need for solutions which can increase the quality of education without requiring huge capital or infrastructural outlays.
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 Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2012/34.
Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Education; language policy; difference in difference estimator; institutions;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Angrist, Joshua & Chin, Aimee & Godoy, Ricardo, 2008.
"Is Spanish-only schooling responsible for the Puerto Rican language gap?,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 105-128, February.
- Joshua Angrist & Aimee Chin & Ricardo Godoy, 2006. "Is Spanish-Only Schooling Responsible for the Puerto Rican Language Gap?," NBER Working Papers 12005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Appleton, S., 2000.
"Education and Health at the Household Level in Sub-Saharan Africa,"
33, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- Simon Appleton, 2000. "Education and health at the household level in sub-Saharan Africa," CID Working Papers 33, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Esther Duflo, 2000.
"Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment,"
NBER Working Papers
7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
- George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004.
"Returns to investment in education: a further update,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
- Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1995.
"Culture and Language,"
NBER Working Papers
5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chin, A. & Daysal, N. Meltem & Imberman, S.A., 2012.
"Impact of Bilingual Education Programs on Limited English Proficient Students and Their Peers: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Texas,"
2012-050, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Chin, Aimee & Daysal, N. Meltem & Imberman, Scott A., 2013. "Impact of bilingual education programs on limited English proficient students and their peers: Regression discontinuity evidence from Texas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 63-78.
- Aimee Chin & N. Meltem Daysal & Scott A. Imberman, 2012. "Impact of Bilingual Education Programs on Limited English Proficient Students and Their Peers: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Texas," NBER Working Papers 18197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chin, Aimee & Daysal, N. Meltem & Imberman, Scott A., 2012. "Impact of Bilingual Education Programs on Limited English Proficient Students and Their Peers: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Texas," IZA Discussion Papers 6694, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- World Bank, 2005. "Education in Ethiopia : Strengthening the Foundation for Sustainable Progress," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7434, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.