Can Private School Subsidies Increase Enrollment for the Poor? The Quetta Urban Fellowship Program

Date
1999
Authors
Kim, Jooseop
Alderman, Harold
Orazem, Peter
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Economics
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Abstract

This study evaluates a program designed to stimulate girls' schooling through the creation of private girls' schools in poor urban neighborhoods of Quetta, Pakistan. Enrollment growth in these randomly selected neighborhoods is compared to enrollment growth in otherwise similar neighborhoods that were randomly assigned to a control group. The analysis indicates that the program increased girls' enrollment around 33 percentage points. Boys' enrollment rose as well, partly because boys were allowed to attend the new schools and partly because parents would not send their girls to school without also educating their boys. This outcome suggests that programs targeted at girls can also induce parents to invest more in their boys. The success of the program varied across neighborhoods, although success was not clearly related to the relative wealth of a neighborhood or to parents' level of education. Thus the program offers tremendous promise for increasing enrollment rates in other poor urban areas.

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This is a manuscript of an article from World Bank Economic Review 13 (1999): 443, doi: 10.1093/wber/13.3.443. Posted with permission.

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