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Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India

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  • Karthik Muralidharan
  • Nishith Prakash

Abstract

We study the impact of an innovative program in the Indian state of Bihar that aimed to reduce the gender gap in secondary school enrollment by providing girls who continued to secondary school with a bicycle that would improve access to school. Using data from a large representative household survey, we employ a triple difference approach (using boys and the neighboring state of Jharkhand as comparison groups) and find that being in a cohort that was exposed to the Cycle program increased girls' age-appropriate enrollment in secondary school by 32 percent and reduced the corresponding gender gap by 40 percent. We also find an 18 percent increase in the number of girls who appear for the high-stakes secondary school certificate exam, and a 12 percent increase in the number of girls who pass it. Parametric and non-parametric decompositions of the triple- difference estimate as a function of distance to the nearest secondary school show that the increases in enrollment mostly took place in villages that were further away from a secondary school, suggesting that the mechanism of impact was the reduction in the time and safety cost of school attendance made possible by the bicycle. We also find that the Cycle program was much more cost effective at increasing girls' secondary school enrollment than comparable conditional cash transfer programs in South Asia.

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  • Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 321-350, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:321-50
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20160004
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    Cited by:

    1. Adukia, Anjali & Asher, Samuel & Novosad, Paul, 2017. "Educational Investment Responses to Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Indian Road Construction," MPRA Paper 80194, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Blimpo, Moussa P. & Gajigo, Ousman & Pugatch, Todd, 2015. "Financial Constraints and Girls' Secondary Education: Evidence from School Fee Elimination in The Gambia," IZA Discussion Papers 9129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Sarah Baird & Ephraim Chirwa & Jacobus de Hoop & Berk Özler, 2014. "Girl Power: Cash Transfers and Adolescent Welfare: Evidence from a Cluster-Randomized Experiment in Malawi," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital, pages 139-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kafle, Kashi & Jolliffe, Dean & Winter-Nelson, Alex, 2018. "Do different types of assets have differential effects on child education? Evidence from Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 14-28.
    5. Eline Bos, 2016. "Leading by Example: What is the effect on educational outcomes of exposing girls, in addition to parents, to female role models?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-37, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. repec:eee:socmed:v:185:y:2017:i:c:p:171-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hahn, Youjin & Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Do Friends Improve Female Education? The Case of Bangladesh," CEPR Discussion Papers 11615, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Jain, Tarun & Maitra, Pushkar & Mani, Subha, 2016. "Barriers to Skill Acquisition: Evidence from English Training in India," IZA Discussion Papers 10199, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Rajesh Chandy & Om Narasimhan, 2015. "Millions of Opportunities: An Agenda for Research in Emerging Markets," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 2(4), pages 251-263, December.
    10. Asim,Salman & Chase,Robert S. & Dar,Amit & Schmillen,Achim Daniel, 2015. "Improving education outcomes in South Asia : findings from a decade of impact evaluations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7362, The World Bank.
    11. Azam Mehtabul, 2016. "Intergenerational Educational Persistence among Daughters: Evidence from India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-16, October.
    12. Karthik Muralidharan & Ketki Sheth, 2016. "Bridging Education Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 269-297.
    13. Kumar, Santosh & Prakash, Nishith, 2017. "Effect of political decentralization and female leadership on institutional births and child mortality in rural Bihar, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 171-178.
    14. Youjin Hahn & Asadul Islam & Kanti Nuzhat & Russell Smyth & Hee-Seung Yang, 2018. "Education, Marriage, and Fertility: Long-Term Evidence from a Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(2), pages 383-415.
    15. Jyotsna Jha, 2016. "Reducing Child Marriage in India: A Model to Scale Up Results, New Delhi, 2016," Working Papers id:10580, eSocialSciences.
    16. Barrera-Osorio,Felipe & Blakeslee,David S. & Hoover,Matthew & Linden,Leigh & Raju,Dhushyanth & Ryan,Stephen P., 2017. "Delivering education to the underserved through a public-private partnership program in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8177, The World Bank.
    17. Aniket, Kumar, 2018. "Solow-Swan growth model with global capital markets and congestible public goods," MPRA Paper 87844, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:336-343 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Jonathan Phillips, 2017. "Can Bihar Break the Clientelist Trap? The Political Effects of Programmatic Development Policy," Working Papers id:11965, eSocialSciences.
    20. Debanita Chatterjee & Shanmuga Priya T. & Puja Minni & Jyotsna Jha, 2016. "Reducing Child Marriage in India : A Model to Scale Up Results," Working Papers id:10380, eSocialSciences.
    21. Delavallade, Clara & Griffith, Alan & Shukla, Gaurav & Thornton, Rebecca, 2017. "Participation, learning, and equity in education: Can we have it all?," IFPRI discussion papers 1627, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    22. Masuda, Kazuya & Yamauchi, Chikako, 2018. "The Effects of Universal Secondary Education Program Accompanying Public-Private Partnership on Students' Access, Sorting and Achievement: Evidence from Uganda," CEI Working Paper Series 2018-4, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    23. repec:eee:deveco:v:133:y:2018:i:c:p:375-395 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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