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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric A. Hanushek, "undated". "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," Wallis Working Papers WP3, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp3

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:89:y:1995:i:03:p:582-600_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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    8. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    9. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
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