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The Effectiveness of Inputs in Primary Education: Insights from Recent Student Surveys for Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Sebastian Fehrler
  • Katharina Michaelowa
  • Annika Wechtler

Abstract

With SACMEQ and PASEC there are now two large data bases available on student achievement, socio-economic background and school and teacher characteristics in both anglophone and francophone sub-Saharan Africa. A joint analysis of PASEC and SACMEQ in a common education production function framework allows us to estimate the impact of educational inputs on student achievement in 21 sub-Saharan African countries and to compare our results with those of earlier empirical studies for education systems in Africa and other world regions. In our analysis we focus on school equipment, teacher quality and class organisation. The issue of teacher and student incentives cannot be adequately addressed with the given data. Our results are based on a traditional retrospective analysis of student achievement in PASEC and SACMEQ countries. In contrast to the 'nothing works' result from most industrialized countries' studies we find robust positive correlations of achievement test scores and the possession of textbooks and negative correlations with teaching in shifts. The most striking result is the weak or even absent correlation of achievement test scores and teacher education and professional training. However, some differences between francophone and anglophone education systems can be observed in this context if differences in the sampling methodology are duly taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Fehrler & Katharina Michaelowa & Annika Wechtler, 2009. "The Effectiveness of Inputs in Primary Education: Insights from Recent Student Surveys for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1545-1578.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:45:y:2009:i:9:p:1545-1578
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380802663625
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frölich, Markus & Michaelowa, Katharina, 2004. "Peer effects and textbooks in primary education : Evidence from francophone sub-Saharan Africa," HWWA Discussion Papers 311, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Kuecken, Maria & Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2013. "When do textbooks matter for achievement? Evidence from African primary schools," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 311-315.
    2. Emily Smith-Greenaway, 2015. "Educational attainment and adult literacy," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(35), pages 1015-1034, November.
    3. Peter Boone & Ila Fazzio & Kameshwari Jandhyala & Chitra Jayanty & Gangadhar Jayanty & Simon Johnson & Vimala Ramachandran & Filipa Silva & Zhaoguo Zhan, 2014. "The Surprisingly Dire Situation of Children's Education in Rural West Africa: Results from the CREO Study in Guinea-Bissau (Comprehensive Review of Education Outcomes)," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital, pages 255-280 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    5. Jones, Sam, 2016. "How does classroom composition affect learning outcomes in Ugandan primary schools?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 66-78.
    6. López-Torres, Laura & Prior, Diego, 2013. "Do Parents Perceive The Technical Quality Of Public Schools? An Activity Analysis Approach," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 13(3), pages 39-60.
    7. Boone, Peter & Fazzio, Ila & Jandhyala, Kameshwari & Jayanty, Chitra & Jayanty, Gangadhar & Johnson, Simon & Ramachandrin, Vimala & Silva, Filipa & Zhan, Zhaoguo, 2013. "The surprisingly dire situation of children's education in rural west Africa: results from the CREO study in Guinea-Bissau," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51535, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:324-336 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dickerson, Andy & McIntosh, Steven & Valente, Christine, 2015. "Do the maths: An analysis of the gender gap in mathematics in Africa," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-22.
    10. Lee, Jieun & Rhee, Dong-eun & Rudolf, Robert, 2017. "Teacher Gender, Student Gender, and Primary School Achievement: Evidence from Ten Francophone African Countries," MPRA Paper 77329, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Marcus H. Böhme & Sarah Kups, 2017. "The economic effects of labour immigration in developing countries: A literature review," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 335, OECD Publishing.
    12. Yuki, Takako & Kameyama, Yuriko, 2014. "Challenges of Quality of Learning Outcomes for Countries with the Unfinished Agenda of Universal Primary Education and Gender Parity: The Case of Yemen," Working Papers 73, JICA Research Institute.
    13. Christopher F. Hein & Rebecca Allen, 2013. "Teacher Quality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Pupil-fixed effects estimates for twelve countries," DoQSS Working Papers 13-08, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    14. repec:eee:injoed:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jones, Sam, 2013. "Class Size Versus Class Composition: What Matters for Learning in East Africa?," WIDER Working Paper Series 065, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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