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Access, Sorting and Achievement: the Short-Run Effects of Free Primary Education in Kenya

Adrienne Lucas and Isaac Mbiti

No 12-10, Working Papers from University of Delaware, Department of Economics

Abstract: We examine the impact of the Kenyan Free Primary Education program on student participation, sorting, and achievement on the primary school exit examination. Exploiting variation in pre-program dropout rates between districts, we find that the program increased the number of students who completed primary school, spurred private school entry, and increased access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We argue that the program was welfare enhancing as it promoted educational access without substantially reducing the test scores of students who would have been in school in the absence of the program.

Keywords: Schooling; Free Primary Education; Kenya; Achievement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 O15 H52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
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Forthcoming in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

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