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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. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
    2. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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    7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    8. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek, . "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," Wallis Working Papers WP3, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    11. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
    12. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. " Social Conflict and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 125-42, March.
    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. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
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