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Private and Public Education: Do Parents Care About School Quality?


  • Marine de Talancé


In recent decades, private schooling has flourished in many developing countries. This article investigates the reasons behind this schooling choice and assesses whether the rise in enrollment in private schools is due to differences in quality between them and public schools. To this end, we consider two measures of school quality: an objective one (value-added by the schools) and a subjective one (parents perceptions). We focus on children enrolled in primary schools in Pakistan and rely on probit models. We found evidence that both perceived and observed school quality matter. Parents are more likely to send their children to a private institution not only when public schools are of lower quality but also when they think they are. In addition, we find that there are gender and socio-economic barriers to access to private schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Marine de Talancé, 2020. "Private and Public Education: Do Parents Care About School Quality?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 137, pages 117-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2020:i:137:p:117-144
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.137.0117

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    More about this item


    Demand for Schooling; Pakistan; Private Education; Quality of Education; School Choice.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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