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Design, Evaluation, and Sustainability of Private Schools for the Poor: The Pakistan Urban and Rural Fellowship School Experiments

  • Alderman, Harold
  • Kim, Jooseop
  • Orazem, Peter

Balochistan Province of Pakistan initiated two pilot programs attempting to induce the creation of private schools for poor girls. Randomized assignment to treatment and control groups is used to measure program effectiveness. The pilot schools were successful in urban areas, but relative failures in rural areas. Urban schools benefited from larger supplies of children not served by government schools, better availability of teachers, and more educated parents with higher incomes. Use of experienced school operators in the urban pilot was another critical difference. All urban schools appear self-sustaining or else require a modest subsidy, whereas only one rural school may survive as a private school. These pilots show that private schools may offer a viable alternative supply of educational services to poor urban neighborhoods in developing countries. However, they are not likely to offer solutions to undersupply of educational services to rural areas.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 5118.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economics of Education Review, June 2003, vol. 22, pp. 265-274
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:5118
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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  1. Harold Alderman & Peter F. Orazem & Elizabeth M. Paterno, 2001. "School Quality, School Cost, and the Public/Private School Choices of Low-Income Households in Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 304-326.
  2. Harold Alderman & Jere R. Behrman & David R. Ross & Richard Sabot, 1996. "Decomposing the Gender Gap in Cognitive Skills in a Poor Rural Economy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 229-254.
  3. Kingdon, Geeta, 1996. "The Quality and Efficiency of Private and Public Education: A Case-Study of Urban India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 57-82, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Kim, Jooseop & Alderman, Harold & Orazem, Peter, 1999. "Can Private School Subsidies Increase Schooling for the Poor? The Quetta Urban Fellowship Program," Staff General Research Papers 1709, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1990. "The willingness to pay for education in developing countries : Evidence from rural Peru," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 251-275, August.
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