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Quality or quantity?

Author

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  • Handa, Sudhanshu
  • Simler, Kenneth

Abstract

The role of school quality in determining educational outcomes has received much research attention in the United States. However, in developing countries, where a significant part of the school age population never attends school, policymakers must consider both quality and quantity when deciding how to maximize the impact of scarce investments. Acknowledging this difference in the policy environment in developing countries, this paper provides comparative estimates of the impact of quality versus quantity investments in school supply in rural Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries. Policy simulations show that improving school quality (through the pupil-teacher ratio) increases grade attainment and efficiency by approximately 9 percent with no impact on overall enrollment rates. However, these same results can be generated by increasing starting enrollment probabilities through the establishment of new schools in all rural villages that currently do not have schools. Furthermore, similar rates of increase in school achievement indicators can be achieved by building schools in only 56 percent of all villages currently without schools, provided these schools are placed in those villages that also do not have a school nearby. When cost information is considered, the main policy implication is that the expansion of school quantity through well targeted placement of new schools will provide the greatest increase in educational outcomes for Mozambique at this time.

Suggested Citation

  • Handa, Sudhanshu & Simler, Kenneth, 2000. "Quality or quantity?," FCND discussion papers 83, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:83
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    Cited by:

    1. Diagne, Abdoulaye, 2010. "Pourquoi les enfants africains quittent-ils l’école? Un modèle hiérarchique multinomial des abandons dans l’éducation primaire au Sénégal," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(3), pages 319-354, septembre.
    2. World Bank, 2008. "Mozambique - Beating the Odds : Sustaining Inclusion in a Growing Economy - A Mozambique Poverty, Gender, and Social Assessment, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7981, The World Bank.
    3. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Maluccio, John A., 2000. "Intrahousehold allocation and gender relations," FCND briefs 84, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Simler, Kenneth R. & Nhate, Virgulino, 2005. "Poverty, inequality, and geographic targeting: Evidence from Small-Area Estimates in Mozambique," FCND discussion papers 192, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Arndt, Channing, 2002. "HIV/AIDS, human capital, and economic prospects for Mozambique," TMD discussion papers 88, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. repec:pit:wpaper:269 is not listed on IDEAS

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