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Financial Constraints and Girls' Secondary Education: Evidence from School Fee Elimination in The Gambia

Listed author(s):
  • Blimpo, Moussa P.

    ()

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Gajigo, Ousman

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Pugatch, Todd

    ()

    (Oregon State University)

We assess the impact of large-scale fee elimination for secondary school girls in The Gambia on the quantity, composition, and achievement of students. The gradual rollout of the program across geographic regions provides identifying variation in the policy. The program increased access to secondary education substantially without harming learning outcomes. We find an increase of around 50% in the number of girls and boys taking the high school exit exam from a low baseline, as well as a 0.1 standard deviations gain in test scores in response to the program. This result is notable in a setting where expanded access could put additional strains on limited resources and the quality of schools. These findings suggest that financial constraints remain serious barriers to post-primary education and that efforts to expand access to secondary education need not come at the expense of learning in low-income countries like The Gambia.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp9129.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 9129.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9129
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  1. Harounan Kazianga & Dan Levy & Leigh L. Linden & Matt Sloan, 2013. "The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 41-62, July.
  2. Alejandro J. Ganimian & Richard J. Murnane, 2014. "Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Impact Evaluations," NBER Working Papers 20284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ousman Gajigo, 2012. "Working Paper 164 - Closing the Education Gender Gap: Estimating the Impact of Girls’ Scholarship Program in The Gambia," Working Paper Series 442, African Development Bank.
  4. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:321-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2014. "Teacher Pay and Student Performance: Evidence from the Gambian Hardship Allowance," IZA Discussion Papers 8621, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Kim, Jooseop & Alderman, Harold & Orazem, Peter F, 1999. "Can Private School Subsidies Increase Enrollment for the Poor? The Quetta Urban Fellowship Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(3), pages 443-465, September.
  7. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
  8. 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 Archive 1709, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Dana Burde & Leigh L. Linden, 2013. "Bringing Education to Afghan Girls: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Village-Based Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 27-40, July.
  10. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2012. "Access, Sorting, and Achievement: The Short-Run Effects of Free Primary Education in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 226-253, October.
  11. Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 321-350, July.
  12. Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2014. "Incentives for teacher relocation: Evidence from the Gambian hardship allowance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 120-136.
  13. Moussa P. Blimpo, 2014. "Team Incentives for Education in Developing Countries: A Randomized Field Experiment in Benin," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 90-109, October.
  14. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2012. "Does Free Primary Education Narrow Gender Differences in Schooling? Evidence from Kenya -super-†," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(5), pages -722, November.
  15. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. repec:mpr:mprres:7836 is not listed on IDEAS
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