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Private Schools and Student Learning Achievements in Kenya

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  • Fredrick M. Wamalwa

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Justine Burns

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of private schools on literacy (language) and numeracy (maths) skill acquisition among children drawn from lower primary grades in Kenya. We use a comprehensive household survey data that allows us to apply a number of econometric techniques to deal with the challenge of the endogeneity of private school choice. We begin with the OLS as a baseline model. We then estimate the village and household fixed effects (FE) models that control for unobservables at the village and household levels, respectively. We supplement the OLS and FE models with the propensity score matching (PSM) technique. We find positive and significant private school effect throughout all these methodologies. However, assessing the impact of omitted variable bias on the estimated coefficient of private schools by use of recent techniques, we find that the estimated bias in household FE is quite small in magnitude relative to the bias based on other estimation techniques. Since (private) schooling decision is made at the household level, it is likely that a substantial part of the unobservable component is pertaining to the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Fredrick M. Wamalwa & Justine Burns, 2017. "Private Schools and Student Learning Achievements in Kenya," SALDRU Working Papers 202, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:202
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Private schools; student learning achievements; Kenya;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • P46 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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