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What Determines Religious School Choice? Theory and Evidence from Rural Bangladesh

Author

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  • Asadullah, Niaz

    () (University of Malaya)

  • Chakrabarti, Rupa

    (University of Reading)

  • Chaudhury, Nazmul

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper looks at the determinants of school selection in rural Bangladesh, focusing on the choice between registered Islamic and non-religious schools. We consider a two period framework where children are a source of old age transfers. The amount of old age transfers made by children as adults is influenced both by their schooling and by parental religiosity. Parents also derive utility from educating a proportion of their children in madrasahs in a way that reflects their own religious values. We investigate how household income, religious preferences, schooling costs, and school quality affect the proportion of children sent to each school type. Using a unique dataset on secondary school age children from rural Bangladesh, we find that madrasah enrolment falls as household income increases. At the same time, more religious households, and those that live further away from a non-religious school are more likely to send their children to madrasahs. However, in contrast to the theory, we find that Islamic school demand does not respond to the average quality of schools in the locality.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6883
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Newhouse & Kathleen Beegle, 2006. "The Effect of School Type on Academic Achievement: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
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    4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2009. "Holy alliances: public subsidies, Islamic high schools, and female schooling in Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 377-394.
    5. Asadullah, M. Niaz, 2009. "Returns to private and public education in Bangladesh and Pakistan: A comparative analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-86, January.
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    8. Niaz Asadullah, Mohammad & Chaudhury, Nazmul & Dar, Amit, 2007. "Student achievement conditioned upon school selection: Religious and secular secondary school quality in Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 648-659, December.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Religious school choice (Ref. Rural Bangladesh)
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-10-20 05:43:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre André & Jean-Luc Demonsant, 2012. "Koranic Schools in Senegal : A real barrier to formal education?," THEMA Working Papers 2012-46, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    2. Krafft, Caroline & Elbadawy, Asmaa & Sieverding, Maia, 2017. "Constrained School Choice in Egypt," GLO Discussion Paper Series 134, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. repec:bla:ausecr:v:49:y:2016:i:4:p:432-452 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. M. Niaz Asadullah, 2016. "The Effect Of Islamic Secondary School Attendance On Academic Achievement," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(04), pages 1-24, September.
    5. repec:eee:injoed:v:59:y:2018:i:c:p:35-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Asadullah, M Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2016. "To madrasahs or not to madrasahs: The question and correlates of enrolment in Islamic schools in Bangladesh," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 55-69.
    7. 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.
    8. Antoninis, Manos, 2014. "Tackling the Largest Global Education Challenge? Secular and Religious Education in Northern Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 82-92.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school choice; madrasah education; Bangladesh;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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