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The Effect of Village-Based Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Afghanistan

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  • Dana Burde
  • Leigh L. Linden

Abstract

We conduct a randomized evaluation of the effect of village-based schools on children's academic performance using a sample of 31 villages and 1,490 children in rural northwestern Afghanistan. The program significantly increases enrollment and test scores among all children, eliminates the 21 percentage point gender disparity in enrollment, and dramatically reduces the disparity in test scores. The intervention increases formal school enrollment by 42 percentage points among all children and increases test scores by 0.51 standard deviations (1.2 standard deviations for children that enroll in school). While all students benefit, the effects accrue disproportionately to girls. Evidence suggests that the village-based schools provide a comparable education to traditional schools. Estimating the effects of distance on academic outcomes, children prove very sensitive: enrollment and test scores fall by 16 percentage points and 0.19 standard deviations per mile. Distance affects girls more than boys--girls' enrollment falls by 6 percentage points more per mile (19 percentage points total per mile) and their test scores fall by an additional 0.09 standard deviations (0.24 standard deviations total per mile).

Suggested Citation

  • Dana Burde & Leigh L. Linden, 2012. "The Effect of Village-Based Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 18039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18039
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    Cited by:

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    2. Dickerson, Andy & McIntosh, Steven & Valente, Christine, 2015. "Do the maths: An analysis of the gender gap in mathematics in Africa," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-22.
    3. Andrea Löther, 2019. "Is It Working? An Impact Evaluation of the German “Women Professors Program”," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-18, April.
    4. Nazli, Hina & Haider, Syed Hamza & Hausladen, Stephanie & Sheik, Asjad Tariq & Shafiq, Hassan & Shahzad, Saqib & Mehmood, Amina & Shahzad, Asma & Whitney, Edward, 2012. "Pakistan Rural Household Panel Survey 2012 (Round 1): Household characteristics:," PSSP working papers 8, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
    6. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
    7. Jenny Aker, 2013. "Scaling Up What Works: Experimental Evidence on External Validity in Kenyan Education," Working Papers 321, Center for Global Development.
    8. Musharraf Cyan & Mark Rider & Michael Price & Stephanie J. Roberts, 2019. "What Accounts for the Education Gender Gap in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1906, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    9. Guilherme Jardim, 2020. "How the Availability of Higher Education Affects Incentives? Evidence from Federal University Openings in Brazil," Papers 2011.03120, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2020.
    10. Musharraf Cyan & Michael Price & Mark Rider & Stephanie J. Roberts, 2017. "Does a Modest Stipend Encourage Girls to Attend School beyond the 5th Class: Evidence from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1707, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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