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Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya

  • Edward Miguel

    (University of California, Berkeley)

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 EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0012001.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 09 Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0012001
Note: 47 pages, Acrobat .pdf
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
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  4. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  5. Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. 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.
  7. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1998. "Explaining African economic performance," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-02.2, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Benabou, Roland, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-52, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  13. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  14. 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.
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