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Literacy and Numeracy in Faith-Based and Government Schools in Sierra Leone


  • Wodon, Quentin
  • Ying, Yvonne


This paper provides a comparative assessment of the market share, reach to the poor, and performance of faith-based and public schools in Sierra Leone using data from the 2004 Integrated Household Survey. One-third of primary school students attend government schools and more than half are in faith-based government-assisted schools. Faith-based schools tend to serve children who live in poverty more than public schools, and after controlling for student and household characteristics and school choice, they also perform slightly better than public schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Wodon, Quentin & Ying, Yvonne, 2009. "Literacy and Numeracy in Faith-Based and Government Schools in Sierra Leone," MPRA Paper 16462, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16462

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "Working for God?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Cox, Donald & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1990. "The relative effectiveness of private and public schools : Evidence from two developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 99-121, November.
    3. Allcott, Hunt & Ortega, Daniel E., 2009. "The performance of decentralized school systems : evidence from Fe y Alegría in Venezuela," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4879, The World Bank.
    4. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
    5. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 791-821.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 158-175, March.
    9. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
    10. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
    11. Quentin Wodon, 2000. "Low income energy assistance and disconnection in France," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(12), pages 775-779.
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Niaz Asadullah & Rupa Chakrabarti & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2015. "What Determines Religious School Choice? Theory And Evidence From Rural Bangladesh," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 186-207, April.
    2. Backiny-Yetna, Prospere & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Comparing the Private Cost of Education at Public, Private, and Faith-Based Schools in Cameroon," MPRA Paper 16464, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    4. Quentin Wodon, 2014. "Education in Sub-Saharan Africa : Comparing Faith-Inspired, Private Secular, and Public Schools," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16391.
    5. Backiny-Yetna, Prospere & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Comparing the Performance of Faith-Based and Government Schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo," MPRA Paper 16463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Parra Osorio, Juan Carlos & Wodon, Quentin, 2011. "El desempeño de los estudiantes de secundaria en los colegios de Fe y Alegría en Colombia: una cuestión de Fe y/o Alegría?
      [Academic performance of Fe y Alegria high school students in Colombia: is
      ," MPRA Paper 28518, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Harry Anthony Patrinos & Quentin Wodon, 2009. "Emerging Evidence on Vouchers and Faith-based Providers in Education : Case Studies from Africa, Latin America, and Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2644.

    More about this item


    Primary education; faith-based; poverty; performance; Sierra Leone;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets

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