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

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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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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  2. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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  18. 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.
  19. Robert J. Barro, 1996. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 5698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
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