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Can free provision reduce demand for public services ? evidence from Kenyan education

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  • Bold, Tessa
  • Kimenyi, Mwangi
  • Mwabu, Germano
  • Sandefur, Justin

Abstract

In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. Analysis of household survey data shows this policy contributed to a shift in demand away from free schools, where net enrollment stagnated after 2003, toward fee-charging private schools, where both enrollment and fee levels grew rapidly after 2003. These shifts had mixed distributional consequences. Enrollment by poorer households increased, but segregation between socio-economic groups also increased. The shift in demand toward private schooling was driven by more affluent households who (i) paid higher ex ante fees and thus experienced a larger reduction in school funding, and (ii) appear to have exited public schools partially in reaction to increased enrollment by poorer children.

Suggested Citation

  • Bold, Tessa & Kimenyi, Mwangi & Mwabu, Germano & Sandefur, Justin, 2013. "Can free provision reduce demand for public services ? evidence from Kenyan education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6685, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6685
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    Cited by:

    1. Margherita Calderone, 2017. "Are there different spillover effects from cash transfers to men and women? Impacts on investments in education in post-war Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 093, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Valente, Christine, 2019. "Primary education expansion and quality of schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    3. Barton, Nicholas & Bold, Tessa & Sandefur, Justin, 2017. "Measuring Rents from Public Employment: Regression discontinuity evidence from Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 12105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Nicholas Barton & Tessa Bold & Justin Sandefur, 2017. "Measuring Rents from Public Employment: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya - Working Paper 457," Working Papers 457, Center for Global Development.
    5. Roxana Elena Manea; Pedro Naso, 2020. "School Fee Elimination and Educational Inequality in Tanzania," CIES Research Paper series 64-2020, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.

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    Keywords

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

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