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Does Abolishing Fees Reduce School Quality? Evidence from Kenya

Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu and Justin Sandefur

No 2011-04, CSAE Working Paper Series from Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford

Abstract: In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. We find that this Free Primary Education (FPE) policy resulted in a decline in public school quality and increased demand for private schooling. However, the former did not reflect a decline in value added by public schools – as anticipated if fees contribute to local accountability – but rather the selection of weaker pupils into free education. In contrast, affluent children who exited to the private sector in response to FPE benefited from a strong, causal effect on their exam performance which is robust to selection on unobserved ability.

Keywords: user fees; school quality; private schools (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H52 I22 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-dev, nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8)

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