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A dime a day : the possibilities and limits of private schooling in Pakistan

Author

Listed:
  • Andrabi, Tahir
  • Das, Jishnu
  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz

Abstract

This paper looks at the private schooling sector in Pakistan, a country that is seriously behind schedule in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Using new data, the authors document the phenomenal rise of the private sector in Pakistan and show that an increasing segment of children enrolled in private schools are from rural areas and from middle-class and poorer families. The key element in their rise is their low fees-the average fee of a rural private school in Pakistan is less than a dime a day (Rs.6). They hire predominantly local, female, and moderately educated teachers who have limited alternative opportunities outside the village. Hiring these teachers at low cost allows the savings to be passed on to parents through low fees. This mechanism-the need to hire teachers with a certain demographic profile so that salary costs are minimized-defines the possibility of private schools: where they arise, fees are low. It also defines their limits. Private schools are horizontally constrained in that they arise in villages where there is a pool of secondary educated women. They are also vertically constrained in that they are unlikely to cater to the secondary levels in rural areas, at least until there is an increase in the supply of potential teachers with the required skills and educational levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2006. "A dime a day : the possibilities and limits of private schooling in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4066, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kingdon, Geeta, 1996. "The Quality and Efficiency of Private and Public Education: A Case-Study of Urban India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 57-82, February.
    2. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1998. "Does the labour market explain lower female schooling in India?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 39-65.
    3. Lloyd, Cynthia B & Mete, Cem & Sathar, Zeba A, 2005. "The Effect of Gender Differences in Primary School Access, Type, and Quality on the Decision to Enroll in Rural Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 685-710, April.
    4. Harold Alderman & Jere R. Behrman & David R. Ross & Richard Sabot, 1996. "Decomposing the Gender Gap in Cognitive Skills in a Poor Rural Economy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 229-254.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Tristan Zajonc, 2011. "Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-54, July.
    2. Ansari, Ali H., 2020. "Comparing teaching practices, teacher content knowledge and pay in Punjab," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    3. Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2013. "Balancing Market and Government Failure in Service Delivery," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 1-19, September.
    4. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2013. "Students today, teachers tomorrow: Identifying constraints on the provision of education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-14.
    5. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2009. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Examining the Extent and Implications of Low Persistence in Child Learning," Working Paper Series rwp09-001, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Durr-e-Nayab, 2008. "Demographic Dividend or Demographic Threat in Pakistan?," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 47(1), pages 1-26.
    7. Hamna Ahmed & Sahar Amjad & Masooma Habib & Syed Ahsan Shah, 2013. "Determinants of School Choice:Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan," CREB Working papers 1-2013, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics, revised 2013.
    8. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2011. "Evaluating public per-student subsidies to low-cost private schools : regression-discontinuity evidence from Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5638, The World Bank.
    9. Pauline Dixon, 2012. "Why the Denial? Low-Cost Private Schools in Developing Countries and Their Contributions to Education," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(3), pages 186-209, September.
    10. Hamna Ahmed & Sahar Amjad Sheikh, 2014. "Determinants of School Choice: Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 1-30, Jan-June.
    11. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    12. repec:lje:journl:v:19:y:2015:i:1:p:1-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2010. "Short-run learning dynamics under a test-based accountability system : evidence from Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5465, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

    Primary Education; Education For All; Tertiary Education; Secondary Education; Teaching and Learning;
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