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Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya

  • Edward Miguel.

The impact of ethnic diversity on the provision of local public goods and collective action in Africa remains largely unexplored. To address this gap, this paper explores the relationship between ethnic diversity and local primary school funding in rural western Kenya. The econometric identification strategy relies on the stable, historically determined patterns of ethnic land settlement in western Kenya. The main empirical result is that higher levels of local ethnic diversity is associated with sharply lower primary school funding and worse school facilities in western Kenya. The theory examines school choice and funding decisions when pupil mobility among schools is limited by land market imperfections and ethnic divisions, the relevant case for rural Africa, and predicts that local pupil transfers may lead to upward bias in OLS estimates of the impact of ethnic diversity. This theoretical prediction is confirmed in the data.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C01-119.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c01-119
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  1. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  2. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
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  4. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
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  6. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-64, February.
  7. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation In Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904, August.
  9. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  10. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  11. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  12. Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe & Sylvie Moulin, 1998. "Textbooks and test scores: Evidence from a prospective evaluation in kenya," Natural Field Experiments 00255, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Wilson, L. S., 1992. "The Harambee movement and efficient public good provision in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-19, June.
  14. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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