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Ethnic diversity, mobility and school funding: theory and evidence from Kenya

  • Ted Miguel
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    This paper explores the relationship between ethnic diversity and local school funding in Kenyan primary schools. The empirical results paint a picture of pervasive local collective action problems in ethnically diverse Kenyan primary schools. Local ethnic diversity is robustly associated with lower local school funding, less parental involvement in school functions, and fewer desks, latrines, and classrooms per pupil in ninety-seven rural Kenyan primary schools. However, local ethnic diversity is not related to average test score performance in these schools. The theory examines the school choice and school funding process when student mobility between schools is limited by land market imperfections, and some aspects of educational quality - such as headmaster competence - differs markedly across schools. The implication for human capital accumulation, economic growth, and local collective action are discussed, especially for Africa.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6675/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6675.

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    Length: 48 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6675
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    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. " Social Conflict and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 125-42, March.
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    8. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
    9. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    11. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
    12. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
    14. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Papers 545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    15. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    16. Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe & Sylvie Moulin, 1998. "Textbooks and test scores: Evidence from a prospective evaluation in kenya," Natural Field Experiments 00255, The Field Experiments Website.
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