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The High Return to Private Schooling in a Low-Income Country- Working Paper 279

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  • Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Justin Sandefur

Abstract

Existing studies from the United States, Latin America, and Asia provide scant evidence that private schools dramatically improve academic performance relative to public schools. Using data from Kenya—a poor country with weak public institutions—we find a large effect of private schooling on test scores, equivalent to one full standard deviation. This finding is robust to endogenous sorting of more able pupils into private schools. The magnitude of the effect dwarfs the impact of any rigorously tested intervention to raise performance within public schools. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of private schools operate at lower cost than the median government school.

Suggested Citation

  • Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Justin Sandefur, 2011. " The High Return to Private Schooling in a Low-Income Country- Working Paper 279," Working Papers 279, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:279
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/files/1425807_file_Sandefur_et_al_High_return_FINAL.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Newhouse & Kathleen Beegle, 2006. "The Effect of School Type on Academic Achievement: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
    2. repec:feb:natura:0004 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Fredrick M. Wamalwa & Justine Burns, 2017. "Private Schools and Student Learning Achievements in Kenya," SALDRU Working Papers 202, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Justin Sandefur & Amanda Glassman, 2015. "The Political Economy of Bad Data: Evidence from African Survey and Administrative Statistics," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(2), pages 116-132, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Singh, Abhijeet, 2015. "Private school effects in urban and rural India: Panel estimates at primary and secondary school ages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 16-32.
    5. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-stage Experiment in India," NBER Working Papers 19441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lant Pritchett, Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Context Matters for Size: Why External Validity Claims and Development Practice Don't Mix-Working Paper 336," Working Papers 336, Center for Global Development.

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