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Access, Sorting and Achievement: the Short-Run Effects of Free Primary Education in Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Adrienne M. Lucas

    () (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

  • Isaac M. Mbiti

    () (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University)

Abstract

We examine the impact of the Kenyan Free Primary Education program on student participation, sorting, and achievement on the primary school exit examination. Exploiting variation in pre-program dropout rates between districts, we find that the program increased the number of students who completed primary school, spurred private school entry, and increased access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We argue that the program was welfare enhancing as it promoted educational access without substantially reducing the test scores of students who would have been in school in the absence of the program.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2012. "Access, Sorting and Achievement: the Short-Run Effects of Free Primary Education in Kenya," Working Papers 12-10, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:12-10.
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    File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2012/UDWP2012-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tessa Bold & Mwangi Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Justin Sandefur, 2011. "Does Abolishing Fees Reduce School Quality? Evidence from Kenya," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Samer Al-Samarrai & Hassan Zaman, 2007. "Abolishing School Fees in Malawi: The Impact on Education Access and Equity," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 359-375.
    3. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 199-250.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    5. Tesssa Bold, 2011. "Does Abolishing Fees Reduce School Quality? Evidence from Kenya," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2011-04, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hassan, Fadi & Lucchino, Paolo, 2016. "Powering education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67673, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Chicoine, Luke, 2016. "Identifying National Level Education Reforms in Developing Settings: An Application to Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 9916, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2015. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 108-158.
    4. Miron Tequame & Nyasha Tirivayi, 2015. "Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia," CINCH Working Paper Series 1509, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
    5. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Urquiola, Miguel, 2012. "Competition and Educational Productivity: Incentives Writ Large," IZA Discussion Papers 7063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera Velde, 2015. "You’ve earned it: estimating the impact of human capital on social preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 385-407, September.
    7. Murat G. Kırdar & Meltem Dayıoğlu & İsmet Koç, 2016. "Does Longer Compulsory Education Equalize Schooling by Gender and Rural/Urban Residence?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(3), pages 549-579.
    8. Omoeva, Carina & Gale, Charles, 2016. "Universal, but not free: Household schooling costs and equity effects of Uganda’s Universal Secondary Education policy," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 41-50.
    9. 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).
    10. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    11. repec:eee:injoed:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:163-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Valente, Christine, 2015. "Primary Education Expansion and Quality of Schooling: Evidence from Tanzania," IZA Discussion Papers 9208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Ozier,Owen, 2015. "The impact of secondary schooling in Kenya : a regression discontinuity analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7384, The World Bank.
    14. 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.
    15. Atuhurra, Julius F., 2016. "Does community involvement affect teacher effort? Assessing learning impacts of Free Primary Education in Kenya," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 234-246.
    16. Tessa Bold & Mwangi Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Justin Sandefur, 2015. "Can Free Provision Reduce Demand for Public Services? Evidence from Kenyan Education," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 293-326.
    17. Chicoine, Luke, 2016. "Free Primary Education, Schooling, and Fertility: Evidence from Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 10387, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Giordono, Leanne & Pugatch, Todd, 2015. "Informal Fee Elimination and Student Performance: Evidence from The Gambia," IZA Discussion Papers 9560, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Miguel Urquiola, 2015. "Progress and challenges in achieving an evidence-based education policy in Latin America and the Caribbean," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-30, December.
    20. Adelman, Melissa A. & Holland, Peter A., 2015. "Increasing access by waiving tuition : evidence from Haiti," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7175, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schooling; Free Primary Education; Kenya; Achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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