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Title:Does free primary education narrow gender differences in schooling? Evidence from Kenya
Authors:Lucas, Adrienne M.ISNI
Mbiti, Isaac M.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Economies (ISSN 0963-8024)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:primary education
gender inequality
External link:https://jae.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/5/691.full.pdf
Abstract:The authors identify the impact of the 2003 Kenyan Free Primary Education (FPE) programme on gender imbalances in the number of students graduating from primary school and achievement on the primary school exit examination. Their identification strategy exploits temporal and spatial variations in the pre-programme dropout rates between districts in a difference-in-differences strategy. They find that the programme boosted primary school completion rates of both boys and girls, but had a larger effect for boys, thereby increasing the gender gap in graduation. Additionally, the programme led to a widening of the achievement gap in government schools. Overall, FPE increased educational access, but did not close gender gaps, suggesting that complementary programmes that specifically target girls may be necessary to reduce these gaps. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]