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Textbooks and test scores: Evidence from a prospective evaluation in kenya


  • Paul Glewwe
  • Michael Kremer
  • Sylvie Moulin


Although there is intense debate about the effect of increased expenditure on education in developed countries, there is widespread consensus that provision of textbooks can substantially increase test scores in developing countries. This paper evaluates a program through which a Dutch non-profit organization provided textbooks to 25 rural Kenyan primary schools that were chosen randomly from a group of 100 candidate schools. After one school year, average test scores did not differ substantially between program and comparison schools. However, for those students in the top quintile of the distribution of initial academic achievement, the program raised test scores by at least 0.2 standard deviations.

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  • Paul Glewwe & Michael Kremer & Sylvie Moulin, 1998. "Textbooks and test scores: Evidence from a prospective evaluation in kenya," Natural Field Experiments 00255, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00255

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Newman, John & Rawlings, Laura & Gertler, Paul, 1994. "Using Randomized Control Designs in Evaluating Social Sector Programs in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 181-201, July.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-246, August.
    3. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
    4. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    5. Olsen, Randall J & Farkas, George, 1990. "The Effect of Economic Opportunity and Family Background on Adolescent Cohabitation and Childbearing among Low-Income Blacks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 341-362, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ted Miguel, 1999. "Ethnic Diversity, Mobility and School Funding: Theory and Evidence From Kenya," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 14, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    2. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    3. Fuje,Habtamu Neda & Tandon,Prateek, 2015. "When do in-service teacher training and books improve student achievement ? experimental evidence from Mongolia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7485, The World Bank.
    4. Edward Miguel, 2001. "Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya," HEW 0012001, EconWPA.
    5. World Bank Group, 2015. "Public Expenditure Review of the Education Sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22932, The World Bank.

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