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Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries

  • Eric A. Hanushek

    (University of Rochester)

Schooling policy in developing countries has frequently been viewed as necessitating an undesirable choice provide broad access or provide high quality schools. Recent evidence, however, suggests that this is a very bad way to think about human capital development. Students respond to quality schools in ways that lessen existing inefficiencies, perhaps even sufficiently to recoup immediately investments in quality. Promoting high quality schools is, nonetheless, more difficult than many have thought. This difficulty suggests that inefficiency is only going to be tackled by introduction of substantial performance incentives in schools and by more directed evaluation of educational experiments. Incentives, decentralized decision making, and evaluation are, of course, very alien terms to education, in both developed and developing countries. Yet, they seem to hold the key to improvement that has eluded policy makers pursuing traditional policies.

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Paper provided by University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy in its series Wallis Working Papers with number WP3.

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Publication status: published in: World Bank Research Observer, 10(2), August 1995, pp. 227-246
Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp3
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University of Rochester, Wallis Institute, Harkness 109B Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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