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Koranic Schools in Senegal: A real barrier to formal education?

  • ANDRÉ Pierre
  • DEMONSANT Jean-Luc

This paper studies the substitution between formal education and informal religious education for Senegalese households. We use the timing of the opening of formal schools to estimate whether Koranic and formal education systems compete for the children's time. Adapting the diff-in-diff strategy in Duo (2001), we assess the effect of school openings on Koranic and formal schooling. Our estimates show that formal school openings increase formal education attainment, especially in rural areas. Incidentally, this result highlights the lack of primary schools in rural areas : an additional primary school increases the probability to start primary school by 13 percentage points around this school. We then estimate that an additional formal school decreases the time spent in Koranic schools. This proves that, while both school systems are independent in terms of organization and pedagogical content, they still compete for the children's time. This might increase the opportunity cost of formal primary school, and can narrow the political consensus around universal primary education.

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Paper provided by CEPS/INSTEAD in its series CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series with number 2012-34.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2012-34
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  1. David Card & Martin Dooley & Abigail Payne, 2010. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-01, McMaster University.
  2. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
  3. Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2010. "Religious Schools, Social Values, and Economic Attitudes: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 205-217, February.
  4. Dev, Pritha & Mberu, Blessing & Pongou, Roland, 2013. "Communitarianism, Oppositional Cultures, and Human Capital Contagion: Theory and Evidence from Formal versus Koranic Education," MPRA Paper 46234, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Apr 2013.
  5. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2013. "Peaceful Coexistence? The Role of Religious Schools and NGOs in the Growth of Female Secondary Schooling in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 223-237, February.
  6. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
  7. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Demonsant, Jean-Luc, 2011. "Education and Migration Choices in Hierarchical Societies: The Case of Matam, Senegal," CEPR Discussion Papers 8311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2005. "Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data," Working Paper Series rwp05-024, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Asadullah, Niaz & Chakrabarti, Rupa & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2012. "What Determines Religious School Choice? Theory and Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 6883, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  11. Creevey, Lucy, 1980. "Religious attitudes and development in Dakar, Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(7-8), pages 503-512.
  12. Orazem, Peter & King, Elizabeth M., 2008. "Schooling in Developing Countries: The Roles of Supply, Demand and Government Policy," Staff General Research Papers 12838, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  13. Jepsen, Christopher, 2002. "The role of aggregation in estimating the effects of private school competition on student achievement," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 477-500, November.
  14. Daniel L. Chen, 2010. "Club Goods and Group Identity: Evidence from Islamic Resurgence during the Indonesian Financial Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 300-354, 04.
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