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Vouchers for Basic Education in Developing Economies: An Accountability Perspective

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  • Varun Gauri
  • Ayesha Vawda

Abstract

Advocates argue that voucher programs can correct the incentive problems of education systems in developing economies. An accountability perspective, based on a principal-agent framework, was developed to clarify the arguments for and against education vouchers. An assessment of findings on voucher programs in industrial countries and a review of voucher or quasi-voucher experiences in Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Czech Republic support the usefulness of the analytic framework. The assessment concludes that the policy relevance of voucher programs for developing economies remains uncertain. Major voucher initiatives have been attempted only in countries with a well-developed institutional infrastructure. Some studies find favorable benefits for at least some population groups, but others find limited effects and evidence of increasing social stratification in schools. Whether vouchers lead to better outcomes or greater stratification appears related to specific contexts, institutional variables, and program designs. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Varun Gauri & Ayesha Vawda, 2004. "Vouchers for Basic Education in Developing Economies: An Accountability Perspective," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 259-280.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:19:y:2004:i:2:p:259-280
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    Cited by:

    1. David Brasington, 2005. "School Choice and the Flight to Private Schools: To What Extent Are Public and Private Schools Substitutes?," Departmental Working Papers 2005-02, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    2. Kumari, Jayanti, 2016. "Public–private partnerships in education: An analysis with special reference to Indian school education system," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 47-53.
    3. Seiro ITO, 2006. "Raising Educational Attainment Of The Poor: Policies And Issues," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 44(4), pages 500-531.
    4. World Bank, 2013. "Republic of Madagascar : Mitigating the Impact of the Crisis on Education," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17012, The World Bank.
    5. Obare, Francis & Warren, Charlotte & Abuya, Timothy & Askew, Ian & Bellows, Ben, 2014. "Assessing the population-level impact of vouchers on access to health facility delivery for women in Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 183-189.
    6. World Bank, 2005. "Mexico : Determinants of Learning Policy Note," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8284, The World Bank.

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