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Can free provision reduce demand for public services ? evidence from Kenyan education
 
Author:Bold, Tessa; Kimenyi, Mwangi; Mwabu, Germano; Sandefur, Justin; Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 6685
Country:Kenya; Date Stored:2013/11/04
Document Date:2013/11/01Document Type:Policy Research Working Paper
SubTopics:Primary Education; Teaching and Learning; Tertiary Education; Secondary Education; Education For AllLanguage:English
Region:AfricaReport Number:WPS6685
Volume No:1 of 1  

Summary: In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. Analysis of household survey data shows this policy contributed to a shift in demand away from free schools, where net enrollment stagnated after 2003, toward fee-charging private schools, where both enrollment and fee levels grew rapidly after 2003. These shifts had mixed distributional consequences. Enrollment by poorer households increased, but segregation between socio-economic groups also increased. The shift in demand toward private schooling was driven by more affluent households who (i) paid higher ex ante fees and thus experienced a larger reduction in school funding, and (ii) appear to have exited public schools partially in reaction to increased enrollment by poorer children.

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