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Can Private School Growth Foster Universal Literacy? Panel Evidence from Indian Districts

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  • Pal, Sarmistha

    () (University of Surrey)

  • Kingdon, Geeta G.

    () (University College London)

Abstract

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set the agenda for the attainment of universal literacy by 2015 primarily to be delivered by the state sector. This agenda tends to ignore the significant private school growth around the world since early 1990s, thus initiating the policy debate as to whether private school growth may foster 'education for all'. Despite growing literature on the difficulties of attaining MDGs, there is hardly any attempt to assess the role of private sector in this respect. Using India as an important case in point, we intend to bridge this gap of the literature. Results using a unique district-level panel data-set from 17 major states of India for the period 1992-2002 that we compile highlight a significant positive impact of private school growth on literacy while its effect on gender gap in literacy remains rather limited in our sample. Compared to 15-19 year olds, private school effect of literacy is stronger among 10-14 year old children. Interesting variations across the regions and also among the marginalised ethnic groups are noted. The paper offers explanations for the findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Pal, Sarmistha & Kingdon, Geeta G., 2010. "Can Private School Growth Foster Universal Literacy? Panel Evidence from Indian Districts," IZA Discussion Papers 5274, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5274
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna, 2005. "Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School," Working Papers id:301, eSocialSciences.
    2. Rob French & Geeta Kingdon, 2010. "The relative effectiveness of private and government schools in Rural India: Evidence from ASER data," DoQSS Working Papers 10-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    3. Kingdon, Geeta & Teal, Francis, 2010. "Teacher unions, teacher pay and student performance in India: A pupil fixed effects approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 278-288, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Frank-Borge Wietzke, 2014. "Historical Origins of Uneven Service Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Role of Non-State Providers," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(12), pages 1614-1630, December.
    3. Andrzej Kwiatkowski, 2013. "Education investment effects of affirmative action policy. Contest game argument," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 279, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    4. Ghosh Dastidar, Sayantan & Chatterji, Monojit, 2015. "Public expenditure in different education sectors and economic growth: The Indian experience," MPRA Paper 66903, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private school growth; universal literacy; gender gap; Millennium Development Goals; India; Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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