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Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya

  • Sylvie Moulin
  • Michael Kremer
  • Paul Glewwe

A randomized evaluation in rural Kenya finds, contrary to the previous literature, that providing textbooks did not raise average test scores. Textbooks did increase the scores of the best students (those with high pretest scores) but had little effect on other students. Textbooks are written in English, most students' third language, and many students could not use them effectively. More generally, the curriculum in Kenya, and in many other developing countries, tends to be oriented toward academically strong students, leaving many students behind in societies that combine a centralized educational system; the heterogeneity in student preparation associated with rapid educational expansion; and disproportionate elite power. (JEL O15, I21, I28, J13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 112-35

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:112-35
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.1.112
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  1. Pritchett, Lant & Filmer, Deon, 1999. "What education production functions really show: a positive theory of education expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 223-239, April.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden & Shawn Cole, 2005. "Remedying education: Evidence from two randomized experiments in india," Framed Field Experiments 00122, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek, . "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," Wallis Working Papers WP3, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:3:p:1235-1264 is not listed on IDEAS
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