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Determinants of Primary Schooling in British India

Latika Chaudhary

The Journal of Economic History, 2009, vol. 69, issue 1, 269-302

Abstract: Using a new historical data set on the availability of schools, I analyze why there was so little primary education in British India, where as late as 1911 there were fewer than three primary schools for every ten villages. The findings show that greater caste and religious diversity contributed to both low and misguided private spending. Indeed more diverse districts had fewer privately managed primary schools and a smaller ratio of primary to secondary schools. Given primary schools were correlated with subsequent literacy, local factors that disrupted primary school provision had important consequences for India's limited achievement in basic education.

Date: 2009
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