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Do Public Colleges in Developing Countries Provide Better Education than Private ones? Evidence from General Education Sector in India


  • Sheetal Sekhri


  • Yona Rubinstein



College educational outcomes of students graduating from public colleges in many developing countries are better than those graduating from private colleges. This is attributed to better quality of education provided. However, public colleges are subsidized suggesting that the observed gap might reflect pre-determined differences among students sorting into public colleges. We evaluate the impact of public colleges using a unique dataset that links admission records to college educational outcomes in India. We exploit the features of admission rules in a Regression-Discontinuity-Design, and find that the public colleges have no added value in the neighborhood of the admission cutoff scores. Controlling for entry scores, we find no differences between the exit exam outcomes of students graduating from public and private colleges..

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  • Sheetal Sekhri & Yona Rubinstein, "undated". "Do Public Colleges in Developing Countries Provide Better Education than Private ones? Evidence from General Education Sector in India," Virginia Economics Online Papers 375, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:375

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    2. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    3. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    4. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    5. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    6. MacLeod, Bentley, 2009. "Anti-Lemons: School Reputation and Educational Quality," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3rc708kd, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Pawan Agarwal, 2006. "Higher Education in India: The Need for Change," Working Papers id:576, eSocialSciences.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Binelli, Chiara & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2013. "The Returns to Private Education: Evidence from Mexico," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 198-215.
    2. Fischer, Stefanie, 2017. "The downside of good peers: How classroom composition differentially affects men's and women's STEM persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 211-226.
    3. Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2013. "Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1289-1324, June.
    4. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2014. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 234-263, July.
    5. Katja Maria Kaufmann & Matthias Messner & Alex Solis, 2013. "Returns to Elite Higher Education in the Marriage Market: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers 489, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Urquiola, Miguel, 2012. "Competition and Educational Productivity: Incentives Writ Large," IZA Discussion Papers 7063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods


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