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Public Infrastructure, Location of Private Schools and Primary School Attainment in an Emerging Economy


  • Pal, Sarmistha

    () (University of Surrey)


The paper argues that access to public infrastructure plays a crucial role on the presence of private schools in a community, as it could not only minimise the cost of production, but also ensure a high return to private investment. Results using community, school and child/household-level PROBE survey data from five north Indian states provide some support to this central hypothesis: even after controlling for all other factors, access to village infrastructural facilities is associated with a higher likelihood of having a private school in the community. This is also corroborated by an analysis of household demand for private schools. The paper concludes by examining the effect of private school presence on year 5 pass rates: while all-school pass rates are significantly higher in villages with a private school, private school presence fails to have significant effect on local state school pass rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Pal, Sarmistha, 2009. "Public Infrastructure, Location of Private Schools and Primary School Attainment in an Emerging Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 4572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4572

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. León, Gianmarco & Valdivia, Martín, 2015. "Inequality in school resources and academic achievement: Evidence from Peru," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 71-84.
    2. Monojit Chatterji & Sushil Mohan & Sayantan Ghosh Dastidar, 2015. "Determinants of public education expenditure: evidence from Indian states," International Journal of Education Economics and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19.
    3. Singh, Abhijeet, 2015. "Private school effects in urban and rural India: Panel estimates at primary and secondary school ages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 16-32.
    4. Filer, Randall K. & Münich, Daniel, 2013. "Responses of private and public schools to voucher funding," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 269-285.
    5. Marine De Talance, 2017. "Quality Perceptions and School Choice in Rural Pakistan," Working Papers hal-01663029, HAL.
    6. repec:bla:ausecr:v:49:y:2016:i:4:p:432-452 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Marine De Talance, 2017. "Wealth Inequalities in Perceptions of School Quality in Pakistan," Working Papers hal-01662698, HAL.
    8. Paul Rodríguez-Lesmes & José D. Trujillo & Daniel Valderrama, 2015. "Are Public Libraries Improving Quality of Education? When the Provision of Public Goods is not Enough," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, December.
    9. Marine de Talancé, 2016. "Wealth inequalities in perceptions of school quality in Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2016/14, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    10. Sudha Narayanan, 2013. "Choosing private schools: Examining primary school enrollment decisions in rural North India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2013-025, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    11. Marine de Talancé, 2016. "Quality perceptions and school choice in rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2016/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    12. M. Niaz Asadullah, 2016. "Do Pro-Poor Schools Reach Out to the Poor? Location Choice of BRAC and ROSC Schools in Bangladesh," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 49(4), pages 432-452, December.
    13. Kang, Lili & Peng, Fei, 2012. "Siblings, public facilities and education returns in China," MPRA Paper 38922, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    simultaneity bias; failing state schools; local public infrastructure; school attainment; school choice; school privatisation; instrumental variable;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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