IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When do textbooks matter for achievement? Evidence from African primary schools


  • Maria Kuecken

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Marie-Anne Valfort

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Using a within-student analysis, we find no average impact of textbook access (ownership or sharing) on primary school achievement. Instead, it is only for students with high socioeconomic status that one form of textbook access - sharing - has a positive impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Kuecken & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2013. "When do textbooks matter for achievement? Evidence from African primary schools," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00828418, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00828418
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.03.012
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frölich, Markus & Michaelowa, Katharina, 2011. "Peer effects and textbooks in African primary education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 474-486, August.
    2. Sebastian Fehrler & Katharina Michaelowa & Annika Wechtler, 2009. "The Effectiveness of Inputs in Primary Education: Insights from Recent Student Surveys for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1545-1578.
    3. Aslam, Monazza & Kingdon, Geeta, 2011. "What can teachers do to raise pupil achievement?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 559-574, June.
    4. Michael Kremer & Alaka Holla, 2009. "Improving Education in the Developing World: What Have We Learned from Randomized Evaluations?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 513-545, May.
    5. Sylvie Moulin & Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe, 2009. "Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 112-135, January.
    6. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    7. Cho, Insook, 2012. "The effect of teacher–student gender matching: Evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 54-67.
    8. Tan, Jee-Peng & Lane, Julia & Lassibille, Gerard, 1999. "Student Outcomes in Philippine Elementary Schools: An Evaluation of Four Experiments," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(3), pages 493-508, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Textbooks do not matter
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-08-09 18:49:00


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jan Bietenbeck & Marc Piopiunik & Simon Wiederhold, 2015. "Africa's Skill Tragedy: Does Teachers' Lack of Knowledge Lead to Low Student Performance?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5470, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Maria Kuecken & Josselin Thuilliez & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2015. "Does malaria control impact education? Evidence from Roll Back Malaria in Africa," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01099524, HAL.
    3. Berry, Christopher & Barnett, Edward & Hinton, Rachel, 2015. "What does learning for all mean for DFID's global education work?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 323-329.

    More about this item


    Textbooks; Educational quality; Sub-Saharan Africa; SACMEQ;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00828418. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.