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Determinants of School Choice: Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan


  • Hamna Ahmed

    () (Assistant Professor, Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, Pakistan.)

  • Sahar Amjad Sheikh

    () (Teaching Fellow, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.)


The objective of this study is to understand why parents in rural areas of Punjab, Pakistan, choose to send their children to private schools when free public schools are available. The study utilizes the Privatization in Education Research Initiative (PERI) school choice dataset compiled by the Lahore School of Economics in collaboration with the Punjab Bureau of Statistics. These data provide rich information on parents’ perception of their child’s school relative to alternative schools he or she could have attended. The findings suggest that parents’ perceptions play an important role in school choice. In particular, their perceptions of school quality and employment opportunities emerge as key determinants of private school choice. Additionally, expenditure on and access to private schooling relative to public schooling as well as the socioeconomic status of the household have a significant impact on parents’ probability of choosing a private school for their child.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamna Ahmed & Sahar Amjad Sheikh, 2014. "Determinants of School Choice: Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 1-30, Jan-June.
  • Handle: RePEc:lje:journl:v:19:y:2014:i:1:p:1-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2006. "A dime a day : the possibilities and limits of private schooling in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4066, The World Bank.
    2. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2007. "The progress of school education in India," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 168-195, Summer.
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    More about this item


    School choice; public vs private; rural Punjab; Pakistan. markets; forecasting; exchange rate volatility; Pakistan.;

    JEL classification:

    • A19 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Other
    • H13 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Economics of Eminent Domain; Expropriation; Nationalization
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General


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